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Tobacco Free Florida

Citrus County Health Department

Research has shown that rural communities like Citrus County, are more heavily affected by cigarette and smokeless tobacco use. Raising awareness of how tobacco advertising, price incentives and availability contribute to high rural tobacco use rates are important ways of preventing early youth initiation, helping smokers quit and protecting non-smokers from secondhand smoke exposure that can lead to COPD, heart disease and many cancers.

The True Cost of Tobacco Use

Smoking not only impacts your wallet, it also takes a toll on your health and time with family and friends. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers (Jha et al., 2013). For every person who, dies, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014). About 30 percent of cancer deaths in Florida are caused by cigarette smoking (Lortet-Tieulent et al., 2016).

“We often discuss the physical and health consequences of tobacco. This Tobacco Free Florida Week, we also recognize the emotional and financial toll that addiction can take on tobacco users and their loved ones,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. “Pack-a-day smokers in Florida can save more than $2,000 per year if they quit. They can also live longer and more fulfilling lives.”

The cost of smoking is not just on a personal level. Sick smokers incur significant health costs. A reduction in the number of smokers positively impacts that state. For example:

  • The reduction in adult smoking rates from 2007 to 2015 resulted in approximately $17.7 billion in savings in cumulative smoking-related health care costs, a 16 percent decline. (Mann et al., 2016)
  • In 2015 alone, an estimated $3.2 billion in smoking-related health care costs was saved as a result of declines in adult smoking in Florida. (Mann et al., 2016)
  • If the adult smoking rate declines as expected, the state will save $8.2 billion between 2016 and 2020 in cumulative smoking-related personal health care costs. (Mann et al., 2016)

Tobacco Free Florida’s efforts have helped reduce the state cigarette smoking rate to a record low. In 2015, it stands at 15.8 percent – the lowest it has ever been (CDC, 2016). The youth smoking rate has decreased from 10.6 percent in 2006 to 3 percent in 2016 – an astounding 71 percent decrease (Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, 2016). 

Tobacco is expensive, but quitting can be free and benefits your health almost immediately. Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program makes it easier than ever for tobacco users to access free tools and services to help them quit. These free services that have helped more than 159,000 people across the state quit tobacco.

Smokers can access Tobacco Free Florida’s online Cost Calculator to find out how much money they could save by quitting at Tobacco Free Florida also recently launched the Smoker Store initiative to bring the true cost of smoking to life. To learn more, visit

Tobacco Free Florida in Citrus County

In Citrus, the Tobacco Free Partnership of Citrus County and Tobacco Free Florida program are committed to providing education, early intervention, advocacy and support to the school district, local government and institutions and citizens so we can work together to protect the health of residents and visitors from the hazards of tobacco use and exposure.

A good way to learn about local tobacco education and prevention efforts is to attend a Tobacco Free Partnership meeting. The meetings are open to the public so come add your voice to the call for healthy, clean air free of tobacco smoke and e-cigarette vapors for everyone everywhere. Please see the events page for meeting information.

Did you know?

The cheapest pack of cigarettes on average in Citrus County only costs $3.58. Only two other counties in the state of Florida offer cheaper cigarettes.

Citrus County is also selling disposable E-cigarettes at lower prices on average than the majority of other counties in Florida. We currently rank behind only 4 other counties in the state in terms of lowest price for these products.

In addition, smokless tobacco is far more likely to be sold on a promotion in Citrus County than the rest of the state, with over half of all stores surveyed selling smokeless tobacco products on some sort of promotion.

Lowering the price of tobacco products makes them more accessible to youth, who are already more vulnerable to the marketing influence of the tobacco industry.

Rock the Park 2016

Rock the Park 2016

Over 400 youth and families attended the Rock the Park event in May 2016! The tobacco-free event showed our community that you can have fun without tobacco.