News and Events

Levy County Youth Tobacco Use Rates are Declining!
February 3, 2015

The Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) is administered annually in every county in Florida and is used to evaluate the impact of Tobacco Free Florida, the state’s program to prevent and reduce tobacco use. In Levy County, QuitDoc has been a grantee under Tobacco Free Florida since 2012. The Florida Departments of Children and Families, Education, Health, and Juvenile Justice have co-sponsored the Florida Youth Survey annually for the past 16 years.

County level data is collected every even-numbered year and the results from the 2014 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey were recently published. There is a lot to celebrate in Levy County! The Tobacco Free Partnership, Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT), and community partners who support the tobacco prevention program have been hard at work educating people, promoting tobacco cessation, and reducing secondhand smoke exposure through passing policies.

Since 2010, Levy County middle school students have reported a significant decrease in tobacco use for all areas, including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless, and all types of tobacco combined. Tobacco use is also declining for high school students in Levy. The biggest declines were seen in cigarette use for both middle and high school students. The percentages of middle and high school students who reported that smoking is allowed in their home also declined from 2010 to 2014.

Levy FYTS Data

Here are the numbers for comparison, which show the percentage of students who reported use of each tobacco product within the last 30 days and the percentage of students who reported that smoking is allowed in their home, for both middle and high schools:

High School
2008
2014
Percent Change
Cigarettes
19.6%
16.2%
-17.3%
Cigars 
15.8%
15.0%
-5.1%
Smokeless
10.8%
10.6%
-1.8%
Any Form
31.5%
26.7%
-15.2%
Smoking at Home
19.8%
17.5%
-11.8%

Middle School
2010
2014
Percent Change
Cigarettes
8.9%
3.4%
-61.8%
Cigars 
6.5%
4.7%
-27.7%
Smokeless
8.7%
3.6%
-58.6%
Any Form
16.0%
8.4%
-47.5%
Smoking at Home
22.9%
15.3%
-33.2%

The data shows us that SWAT, the Tobacco Free Partnership, and community partners serving youth are making a difference with the work that we do. Additionally, policy interventions, such as tobacco free public housing and tobacco product placement ordinances and flavored tobacco resolutions are reducing youth exposure to secondhand smoke and reducing youth access to flavored tobacco in convenience stores. All of these elements are working together to keep more Levy County youth tobacco free. 

These numbers matter because they represent real children and real lives. What we have accomplished is worth celebrating, but we can’t afford to stop or rest now. Tobacco companies have new products on the market every year, and we know that youth in Levy County are trying and using products like e-cigarettes and hookah on a regular basis. We are excited to celebrate our successes and use the lessons we’ve learned to continue working toward a tobacco free future for youth in Levy County.

For a full report on the 2014 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey Resuilts for Levy County, click here.