News and Events

Saturday Night Lights goes Tobacco Free!
December 13, 2022

Most people today realize the threat tobacco use poses to their health. The serious health risks have been discussed for decades in school health classes, by parents, doctors and prevention experts and programs. While tobacco use continues to decline, we still have at risk communities all over the United States that have much higher usage rates than others.

Research has shown that rural communities like DeSoto County are more heavily affected by tobacco use. In fact, the health of people living in rural areas is impacted by tobacco use more so than those in urban and metropolitan areas, often because of socioeconomic factors such as lower levels of education, and higher levels of unemployment.

In many communities across the State of Florida, the use of tobacco, and exposure to second-hand smoke are accepted as a fact of life, but they don't have to be. Implementing a tobacco free policy helps create a safe and healthy environment for all. The negative health effects of tobacco use for both users and nonusers, particularly in connection with secondhand smoke, are well established and known to cause serious lung diseases, heart disease and cancer.

Saturday Night Lights is in their 6th season of free, family fun. This event(s) is held the second Saturday of the month October through February. The night kicks off with live music, vendors, bounce houses, and more. There is always a local food vendor – these are various groups throughout the community (churches, clubs, or civic organizations) who set up free of cost to the event and keep all their profits. Each month brings a new theme, and they periodically have prize giveaways. At sundown, a family movie (brand new release and age appropriate) is projected in the pavilion at the Tree of Knowledge. Families bring blankets, chairs, etc. and hang the rest of the evening. DeSoto County is a rural community with very little to do, so these events bring in families from diverse populations.

Saturday Night Lights supports the health of DeSoto County citizens and reinforces our commitment to preserving and improving the health and comfort in our community. We are pleased to announce that their event is now tobacco free. Tobacco products of any kind, including electronic devices, are prohibited at the event(s) and applies to all persons present, including volunteers and attendees.

The Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto County is extremely proud of the Saturday Night Lights Committee for hosting such a wonderful family friendly event and doing their part to protect the overall health and wellbeing of our rural community. We are pleased to provide them with tobacco free event signage, free of cost to them, as a thank you and to help relay the policy to attendees. To attend the first official tobacco free Saturday Night Light event, mark your calendars for January 10th.

If you want more information on becoming involved in local initiatives to reduce tobacco use in our community, please contact Jodie DeLoach, Tobacco Program Manager at