We caught up with Lauren Walter from The QuitDoc Foundation, an organization working to reduce tobacco use and improve overall community health around the country. Take a look:
What is QuitDoc, and what do you do around our community?
The QuitDoc Foundation was founded in 2006 by two physicians — a pulmonologist and a pediatrician — with a mission to improve overall community health and wellness by reducing the number of deaths in the United States from tobacco addiction and curtailing tobacco use within youth and adult populations through research, education, and prevention.
The QuitDoc Foundation manages several programs that aim to reduce tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and the largest is the twelve Tobacco Free Partnerships throughout Florida. The partnerships’ goals are to have policies adopted to reduce smokeless tobacco use, counteract tobacco product marketing at the retail point-of-sale, create smoke-free multi-unit housing, create smoke-free environments other than housing, create tobacco-free worksites, build community partnerships, and grow the Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) initiative by engaging youth. Tobacco Free Partnerships are funded through the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida. No other nonprofit organization in Florida manages more Tobacco Free Partnerships than the QuitDoc Foundation.
Can you tell us more about your work with the Tobacco Free Partnership of Marion County?
The mission of the Tobacco Free Partnership (TFP) of Marion County is to mobilize community partners to establish long-lasting system and policy changes that promote tobacco-free social norms to prevent usage of tobacco products by youth/young adults, encourage and support tobacco cessation, eliminate the hazards of secondhand smoke, and decrease the number of deaths due to tobacco products.
SWAT is all about promoting smoke-free lifestyles in the Sunshine State. Being in SWAT gives youth the chance to make a difference in their community, while also being part of a statewide movement. SWAT is by youth and for youth to create a smoke-free Florida through activism.
The TFP and SWAT participate in several events throughout the community. The representative of the TFP offer education to the public about tobacco use and prevention, free signage for tobacco free environments; including events, and hold monthly meetings for our community partners to discuss initiatives and determine goals.
How do you use your promotional products?
Promotional products are distributed to the TFP partners and SWAT members, and shared to the public at local events. The toothpicks and calendars are a great tool for those who are or who know someone who may be struggling with a quit attempt. The air fresheners are perfect for raising awareness about tobacco use in vehicles. The SWAT swag like the sunglasses, wristbands, and back packs are perfect for spreading the message of SWAT through everyday use by the youth. The USB lanyard is preloaded with the SWAT binder and is perfect for aiding the youth in SWAT projects such as videos.
Learn more about QuitDoc and the Tobacco-Free Partnership of Marion County by visiting their respective websites:
TFP Marion: http://www.tfp-marion.org/
You can also find them on Facebook:
TFP Marion: https://www.facebook.com/TFPMarionCounty/