Each year, the public health community observes World No Tobacco Day on May 31st to focus on issues associated with tobacco. This year, Miami-Dade County is educating its residents about the importance of smokefree outdoor policies to not only protect the community’s health, but to also help protect the environment from toxic litter.
The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program continues to educate youth, community members, young adults, public housing residents and employers on the importance of being tobacco free and the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure.
Through the program’s Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT), Tobacco-Free Workgroup, Young Adult Interventions, Smoke Free Multi Unit Housing and Tobacco Free Worksites initiatives, staff are able to promote Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program and encourage the national observance of World No Tobacco Day.
Cigarettes that are discarded on roadways and sidewalks can end up in storm drains where they are carried as runoff to rivers and ultimately to the ocean and its beaches.[ii] In fact, cigarette butts are the single most collected item in beach cleanups worldwide.[iii] Fish, birds and other marine life can mistake the toxic cigarette butts for food.[iv],[v],[vi]
Discarded cigarette butts are non-biodegradable litter. Nearly all of cigarettes sold in the United States have filters made of cellulose acetate, a plastic product.[vii]
Please join the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County in bringing awareness to the dangers of tobacco use to the community and the environment. Let us all help to reduce cigarette little, secondhand smoke exposure and tobacco use all together. Celebrate World No Tobacco day and help create a healthier Miami-Dade!
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.
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