News and Events

DeSoto County SWAT Chapter: Raising Awareness in the Community
January 24, 2023

SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) is Florida's statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco.

SWAT is a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future. SWAT works to change the social norms associated with tobacco. This means we want to change the way people think about tobacco… making it less desirable, less acceptable, and less accessible.


SWAT Youth accomplish this by advocating for change in local policies that affect how tobacco is marketed, how it is sold, and where it can be used. SWAT members can typically expect to participate in a wide range of activities including community education and outreach, public speaking, collecting data, and media advocacy. 

On January 24, 2023 our SWAT youth presented to the Board of County Commissioners’ to educate on the 2022 legislation act for “Clean Air.” Legislation has revised this act by giving counites and cities an ordinance to restrict any tobacco products in their county and city parks. SWAT youth, Weslyn Mercer and Rylee Shaver asked the BOCC to take this new legislation act into consideration and add the ordinance to their future agenda.


DeSoto SWAT youth, along with the Tobacco Free Partnership have been working very closely with the county to implement a tobacco free policy in our county parks. We have a park cleanup day planned during Spring Break in hopes to show evidence to prove a policy is in fact needed for our county. We would love your support at the BOCC meeting on April 14 at 9:30 am.

For more information on the SWAT Chapter of DeSoto County, contact Lindsey Sager, Tobacco Prevention Specialist at