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Local businesses in Santa Rosa County are going tobacco-free


MILTON — Tobacco free business, a growing trend throughout the state and country, is making its way to Santa Rosa County.  To date, 24 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
  • Santa Rosa Kids’ House
  • Majors Home Improvement
  • Camp Fire Gulf Wind
  • Healthy Start Coalition-Santa Rosa
  • Santa Rosa Medical Center
  • Jay Medical Center
  • Milton Storage
  • Feeding the Gulf Coast
  • Edward Jones Investment
  • City of Gulf Breeze

"These organizations have created safer and healthier working environments by going tobacco free," said Vince Nguyen, Health Educator Consultant with the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Smokers, on average, die about 10 years earlier than non-smokers.  Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It also increases the risk of complications during pregnancy, including pre-term delivery, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Exposure to secondhand smoke causes problems as well. In addition to an increased risk of heart attack, adults exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk for lung cancer and stroke and children may experience ear infections and respiratory problems.

Smoking costs Florida about $19.6 billion a year due to lost productivity, premature death, and healthcare expenses. Tobacco free policies can save employers an average of $6,000 a year per employee and reduce employee absenteeism. 

Smokers who quit greatly reduce their risk for adverse health effects. Quitting can be hard but help is available through Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way programs:

  • Phone Quit – By calling 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (1-877-822-6669), smokers can talk to a "Quit Coach" who will help them assess their addiction and create a personalized quit plan. The plan includes access to their Quit Coach 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.
  • Group Quit – By calling 1-877-848-6696, smokers can locate a support group, led by a trained specialist, with meetings that are held at convenient times and locations in their area.
  • Web Quit – For the Do-It-Yourselfer, there are on-line resources that allow smokers to create their own personalized, web-based plan for becoming tobacco free. Smokers can track their progress and have access to blogs where they can share their personal stories.
  • More Quit Tools – But wait, there are more ways to quit! Receive a 2-week starter kit of free nicotine patches, if medically appropriate and 18 years of age or older, texting support, a quit guide, or helpful emails. Choose what you need or use them in addition to our Phone, Group, and Web services.

These options also include cessation aides such as nicotine patches or gum.

To learn how your business can go smokefree, contact Vince Nguyen, Health Educator Consultant with DOH-Santa Rosa, at 850-564-2253. To learn more about how

smoking impacts businesses, visit:

This article originally appeared on Santa Rosa Press Gazette: Local businesses in Santa Rosa County are going tobacco-free

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