The goal of the program is to improve the health of the Broward County residents by decreasing the prevalence of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke through policy and system implementation. The objectives are 1) prevent initiation of tobacco products among youth and young adults, 2) eliminate secondhand smoke exposure, 3) maintain infrastructure of Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Broward County, and, 4) promote cessation from tobacco use.
A Point-of-Sale (POS) media campaign was developed in collaboration with the Tobacco-Free Partnership of Broward County to inform and educate the community on Tobacco Point-of Sale. The campaign focused on communities of color and lower income neighborhoods, which are disproportionally targeted by the tobacco companies. As per the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida County Profile, the rates of tobacco use for those who earn less than $2500/year are higher in Broward County than the State. Media included posters at local convenience stores, print media and/or radio buys that served specific minority audiences. Spaces were leased from retail partners at their stores for poster campaigns and local media outlets that serve the target audience. In addition, penny trays were provided to the retailers to promote cessation with Florida's 3 Ways to Quit program messages. Training opportunities were provided to 10 community and faith-based organizations that trained youth/parents groups in tobacco point-of-sale. Partners included the YMCA of Broward County, Boys and Girls club, and Memorial Healthcare-Community Services.
DOH-Broward worked with Broward College to implement a comprehensive a comprehensive tobacco-free campus policy at 14 college campuses throughout Broward County. To achieve policy adoption, DOH-Broward pursued partnerships with the president of the Broward college and his Senior Management Team to educate these decision-makers on the benefits of the policy change. The Tobacco Free Partnership also hosted campus events such as butts clean-ups and tobacco observance festivities to increase the support from students and stakeholders. DOH-Broward also partnered with the Tobacco-Free Program members from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) to assist and guide decision makers through the process as FAU was amid the implementation of a tobacco-free policy.
As a result of the efforts to implement tobacco control policies at recreation and entertainment venues the Parrot Lounge implemented. Policy goals were achieved by soliciting the business owner and providing education on the need for policy implementation. Assistance from current smoke-free venues were attained to explain the process and debunk myths about decreasing revenues due to smoke-free policies. A needs assessment survey and strategic plan for the adoption and implementation of the policy were developed in partnership with Tobacco Free Partnership.
DOH-Broward assisted in establishing 20 smoke-free multi-unit housing policies. DOH- Broward, in partnership with the American Lung Association (ALA) and the School of Public Health at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) targeted properties with 40 or more units. Policy changes were sustained by the properties through house rules and lease agreements. Also, through the membership in the South East Florida Apartment Association (SEFAA), DOH-Broward had the opportunity to meet with 316,300 properties located in tri-county area (Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade). Properties were surveyed to establish resident sentiment and readiness for policy adoption. Once the results are received, DOH-Broward and ALA met with the decision makers to ascertain readiness for policy implementation. In addition, DOH-Broward participated in three community-wide smoke free multi-unit housing seminars where relevant information regarding the issue of secondhand smoke and the benefits of adopting smoke-free policies were provided to the community.
During the 2015-2018 grant period, DOH-Broward assisted 11 large/small employers to adopt the tobacco-free worksite policy. Efforts to implement the tobacco-free worksite policy was implemented by coordinating with the targeted organization's management teams, human resource departments and health and wellness liaisons. The Florida Tobacco Cessation Alliance's Worksite Wellness Award was promoted to targeted employers. Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida cessation toolkits were provided to the employers that expressed interest in formulation tobacco-free environments. DOH-Broward assisted in policy writing, communication plan, implementation, maintenance. Collaborative partners included Nova South Eastern University Area Health Education Center (NSU-AHEC) and the Tobacco Free Partnership of Broward County. Relationships with new partners were developed by attending strategic community meetings such as various chambers of commerce, worksite wellness coalitions and human resources association in Broward County.
Tobacco Free Partnership (TFP) has played an integral part in the adoption of most tobacco polices received in Broward County. DOH-Broward has been the constant in the sustainability of TFP. DOH-Broward hosts monthly partnership meetings and assists the Executive Committee in maintaining accurate meeting records and membership directory. Additionally, DOH-Broward staff conduct member training sessions, advise members on current tobacco issues and serve as subject matter experts to the TFP.
DOH- Broward oversees one county SWAT chapter and the local SWAT clubs. The county SWAT chapter consists of all Presidents and Vice Presidents from local SWAT club. Individual SWAT clubs consist of youth that attend the Broward County Public Schools. DOH-Broward consistently maintained 21 SWAT clubs during the 2015-2018 grant period. During that same time, DOH-Broward sponsored and attended various community-wide events to promote SWAT as well as resetting the social norm for tobacco. The events aided in raising awareness and in promoting tobacco free policies that ultimately promoted positive behavior changes surrounding tobacco use and addiction. Students participated in the Influence Teen Rally that celebrates students making the decision to resist peer pressure, steer clear of violence, and remain tobacco-, alcohol- and drug-free. Each year, the event attracted over 5,000 youth in grades K-12 along with their parents and other family members. The program also reached over 5,000 schools aged youth through partnerships and sponsorships.