News and Events

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia Reflects on a Successful Year Despite COVID-19
December 7, 2020

As we come to the end of 2020, we can reflect on the activities and efforts of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia County. Amidst the pandemic, the partnership was still able to meet and continue working towards our goals of meeting with decision makers and community members to educate them on the benefits of a local Tobacco Retail License (TRL). At the local level, a TRL would greatly benefit the youth in our community by reducing youth access and exposure to all tobacco products including e-cigarettes and other vaping devices by raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 years and banning flavored tobacco products which are proven to appeal to youth. On December 7th, the partnership spoke to the City Council during their regular session to educate them on a TRL and propose that they consider implementing an ordinance that would raise the age to sell tobacco to 21 within the city limits with local enforcement. The partnership will continue their efforts to raise the minimum age and to obtain a TRL. To learn more about a TRL, visit: American Heart Association.

The partnership was able to safely participate in three events this quarter in Lake City. As additional activities to garner support and awareness of the partnership and our efforts in tobacco prevention, we participated in the Trunk or Treat event at Christ Central that had many youth and parents in attendance and was Spooktacular. In downtown Lake City at Darby Pavilion, we attended the Columbia World’s Greatest Baby Shower drive-thru event that provided women who were pregnant or mothers to infants with educational materials, resources, and giveaways.

We were also excited to host a table at the Florida Gateway Fair this year that was a productive outreach location to share information about the Tobacco Retail License, Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) activities, education on e-cigarettes, dangers of tobacco, and supporting tobacco cessation. Lastly, on November 19th, with the help of Tobacco Free Florida we observed the annual Great American Smokeout which is a day to encourage people to make a plan to quit smoking using the free tools and services available to Floridians. Quitting smoking can add up to 10 years to life expectancy and can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, improve lung function, and lower the chances of other cancers. If you are interested in learning more about quitting Tobacco Free Florida can help you quit your way. If you are an employer and would like to support your employees and their efforts to quit tobacco, visit our website to learn more Tobacco Free Partnership of Columbia County or contact Brooke Frye at

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. [accessed 10 August 2020.]