News and Events

Reducing the Impact of Tobacco on Our Community through Tobacco Free Events
March 6, 2019

Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, but it does not have to be. Adopting a Tobacco Free Events policy not only provides many countless benefits to community members, but can also help reduce our death count.

Tobacco Free Events send a very important message: that the community’s health and well-being are a priority. These anti-tobacco environments allow attendees to enjoy an event without the worry of being exposed to secondhand smoke or vapor, provide an environment that shows youth tobacco use is not the norm, and supports those that have made the difficult decision to quit the use of tobacco.

For the past few years, creating a safer environment by pushing for more tobacco-free events/venues in DeSoto County has been at the forefront of our focus. In fact, the Tobacco Free Partnership has successfully helped implement two policies, both with a large impact on our community.

After working with the DeSoto County Rodeo Board, The Mosaic Arena decided to adopt a smoke free venue policy upon its grand opening in 2017. The Mosaic Arena host many events throughout the year, including, but not limited, to the Grand Daddy of Em All March Rodeo, which brings in over 20,000 people. After adopting the policy, the Tobacco Free Partnership provided the rodeo grounds with free signage to help convey its policy to attendees.

After last year’s rodeo, our DeSoto County SWAT Youth conducted a tobacco littler clean up to thank the rodeo board for their participation and support. As you can see from the pictures, the policy and signage drastically helped cut down on tobacco use AND litter within the arena where signage was prominent, which is another pro to policy implementation. A tobacco free venue or event requires less clean-up of litter and debris from smoking, and lowers the risk of fire or other damages caused by cigarettes.

The Partnership has also worked with the DeSoto County Chamber of Commerce to write and implement a tobacco-free events policy, along with a tobacco-free worksite policy. The Chamber also hosts numerous events throughout the year in which hundreds of community members in DeSoto County attend. This tobacco-free event policy states that all chamber events will be tobacco-free, including electronic devices.

“These two policies alone will have a huge impact on our rural community,” says Jodie DeLoach, Community Health Advocate for QuitDoc Foundation. “These organizations have gone above and beyond to not only reduce the social norm of tobacco use in our rural community, but also protect the health and wellness of the thousands of people that attend their events. We greatly thank both the Rodeo and Chamber Boards for adopting these policies and putting the health of our community at the forefront.”

While we are proud of the success we have had locally, the buck does not stop there. The Tobacco Free Partnership is currently looking to increase the amount of tobacco free venues/events policies within DeSoto County, especially at events with a large youth attendance. Our young people are fiercely targeted by Big Tobacco to create lifelong tobacco users. Between flavored tobacco products and the popularity of electronic devices, our youth are at a substantially high risk of experimenting and picking up a lasting habit. Creating environments free of toxic exposure and influence is truly a priceless effort in fighting this battle.

Tobacco Free Events can also attract a broader audience and increase overall attendance. By choosing to make your event Tobacco Free, you are sending the message that the health and safety of your participants is of utmost importance, and the best news of all, adopting a Tobacco Free policy doesn’t have to be complicated. QuitDoc Foundation, along with the Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto County will make it a remarkably smooth process, assisting with policy initiation, implementation, and any additional support needed.

If you are interested in adopting a policy or have any questions, please reach out to Jodie DeLoach at