News and Events

Together, We Can Reduce the Toll of Tobacco Use on Our Community
February 21, 2023

For the past few years, creating a safer environment by pushing for more tobacco-free events and venues in DeSoto County has been at the forefront of our focus. Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, but it does not have to be.

Our Tobacco Free Partnership and SWAT Youth Members set up a booth at the 2023 DeSoto County Fair to raise awareness on the importance of reducing social norms of tobacco use in our rural community and to educate attendees on the dangers associated with tobacco use and secondhand smoke. 

We are working hard to recruit new members, work with local government to implement policy change, and present tobacco education and prevention to our community. SWAT youth created a selfie booth and encouraged youth to join their club and commit to being a non-user. In addition, booth attendees were educated on the effects of secondhand smoke, given information on how smoking is twice the price: cigarettes harm your health and waste your wealth. Quit Your Way program details were shared with users who were encouraged to quit, and attendees were encouraged to support tobacco free spaces.

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 spaces 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. 

“These policies have a much bigger impact on our rural community than most realize,” says Jodie DeLoach, Tobacco Program Manager. “Tobacco Free Polices 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 these events. We greatly thank the organizations we have worked with in the past who have adopted such policies that put the health of our community at the forefront.”

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. 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: