Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida

Tobacco Free Florida
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Florida's involvement in tobacco prevention efforts dates back to 1989 when the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services began receiving federal funding to implement tobacco prevention and control activities. In 1997, Florida successfully settled with the tobacco industry for $11.3 billion to recoup Medicaid costs incurred by smokers. As part of the settlement agreement, Florida launched the Tobacco Pilot Program targeting tobacco use among underage youth. Five years later, the funding for the tobacco program was cut to $1 million. This required the program to discontinue several key components of its youth tobacco program such as school-based tobacco education, youth development, and counter-marketing efforts, otherwise known as the "truth" campaign.
The 2007 Florida Legislature passed legislation to implement the constitutional amendment. Section 381.84, Florida Statutes, authorizes DOH to create a statewide comprehensive tobacco prevention and control program consistent with the CDC's Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs. In addition, the statute requires DOH to work with a 23-member advisory council to advise the State Surgeon General as to the direction and the scope of the tobacco program; adopt rules for the program; award funding to AHECs for cessation and training; and provide an annual report that evaluates the program effectiveness in reducing and preventing tobacco use and recommends improvements to enhance the program's effectiveness.