Local Businesses in Santa Rosa County are Going Tobacco-Free

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February 23, 2017
Feb. 23, 2017


-Policies focus on the many benefits of being tobacco free in the workplace and the dangers of second hand smoke-

Debbie Stilphen, PIO
850-983-5200, ext. 2275
Milton, FL –  Tobacco-free business, a growing trend throughout the state and country, is making its way to Santa Rosa County.  To date, 14 local businesses in Santa Rosa County have implemented tobacco-free policies, including:    
  • AppRiver
  • CVS Stores
  • City of Milton
  • Santa Rosa County School District
  • Family Dollar Stores
  • Lowe’s Stores
  • Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office
  • Santa Rosa County Jail
  • Blackwater River Correctional Facility
  • University of West Florida
  • GEO Corrections and Detention
  • Santa Rosa County Offices
  • Shane’s Rib Shack
  • Pruitt Health-Santa Rosa
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.  Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Smokers, on average, die about 10 years earlier than non-smokers.  Smoking also increases the risk of complications during pregnancy, including pre-term delivery and low birth weight.  Smoking during pregnancy results in more than 1,000 infant deaths annually.       
Smoking costs Florida about $19.6 billion a year due to lost productivity, premature death and healthcare expenditures.  Tobacco free policies can save employers an average of $6,000 a year per employee.  There are also numerous health benefits for businesses and staff as tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic and at least 70 of which are known to cause cancer..  Exposure, even for short periods of time, can be dangerous and smokers are prone to being absent from work 1.5 times more often than nonsmokers.
Exposure to second-hand smoke causes problems as well.  Second hand smoke is smoke from a burning cigarette and smoke breathed out by smokers.  In addition to an increased risk of heart attack, adults exposed to second hand smoke are at risk for lung cancer and stroke.  Children may experience ear infections and respiratory problems, as well as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Smokers who quit greatly reduce their risk for adverse health effects.  Quitting can be hard but help is available.  For information on local programs, contact the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County at 850-564-2253. 
For more information on what smoking costs employers, visit Tobacco Free Florida at  http://tobaccofreeflorida.com/employercessation/
To learn how your business can go Smoke Free, contact Vince Nguyen, tobacco cessation specialist with DOH-Santa Rosa, at 850-564-2253.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.
About Tobacco Free Florida
The department’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 159,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.
Public Information Officer
Florida Department of Health
Santa Rosa County
5527 Stewart Street
Milton, Florida 32570
Phone:  (850) 564-2275
Cell:      (850) 554-1643
Fax:      (850) 983-4540
Florida Health: the first accredited public health system in the U.S.
Please Note:  Florida has a very broad public records law.   Most written communications to or from state officials regarding state business are public records available to the public and media upon request.  Your email communication may, therefore, be subject to disclosure.