The tobacco talk

Two-Way Discussion Street to Steering Kids Away from Smoking

The Bureau of Tobacco Prevention Program’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is designed to boost the ranks of Floridians whose health and lives can be enhanced by living without tobacco – including teens and young adults.

Health Department Director and USF faculty Dr. Daniel Haight encourages parents to have two-way discussions with young people and not to simply tell them what is best.  “I suggest asking their advice and opinions about the tobacco problem our community faces.  Ask them: ‘how can we help people quit smoking who want to quit?’ This could lead into a discussion of the resources available to families, neighbors, and friends that want to avoid tobacco use, which is so much better than just telling young people not to do something,” concludes Dr. Haight, who also serves on the board of trustees for the Polk County Medical Association.

The Polk County Health Department’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program was awarded a $210,000 grant to form a community partnership, which is the Tobacco Free Partnership of Polk County.  Goals are to lower the use of tobacco, per capita tobacco consumption, exposure to secondhand smoke and tobacco-related disparities. The department provides support to the Tobacco Free Partnership. For more information, contact Jennifer Tempel at (863) 519-7900 x 11054 or

Free resources to help smokers quit:

  • Call the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW
  • Enroll in online counseling with the Florida Quitline, where each user can create a personalized, web-based quit plan. Visit to enroll.
  • Central Florida Area Health Education Center provides Quit Smoking Now classes throughout Polk County. Call 1-877-252-6094 to enroll.



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