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Bay County's Students Working Against Tobacco Celebrate Red Ribbon Week

October 25, 2017

PANAMA CITY, Fla.- The Florida Department of Health in Bay County and Bay County’s Tobacco Free Partnership are recognizing Students Working Against Tobacco, SWAT, this week as they celebrate Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week is October 23 – 31 annually. It is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation. Red Ribbon Week encourages youth to be drug, tobacco, and alcohol free.  

In Bay County, nearly 37-percent of youth age 11-19 report trying tobacco. This includes cigarettes, cigars, electronic vaping, hookah, and/or smokeless. The percentage of the youth currently using tobacco is slightly more than 20-percent. The majority report being exposed to second hand smoke. This information is from the 2016 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey.

During Red Ribbon Week, several SWAT clubs are planning special anti-tobacco related events. SWAT 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. Events are as follows:

Rosenwald High School
Door decorating contest
Poetry readings
SWAT Advisor: Jonas Douglas

Jinks Middle School
Themed dress week Mon., Oct. 23-Fri. Oct. 27
Monday- Turn Your Back on Drugs (Wear your shirt backwards)
Tuesday- Crazy Sock Day (Put a sock on drugs) and Crazy Hat/Hair Day (Put a cap on drugs)
Thursday- Nerd Day (Be smart! Say No to Drugs!)
Friday- Students, Faculty, and Staff wear red
SWAT Advisor: Elizabeth Mapoles

Panama City Marine Institute
Side Walk Chalk Art
SWAT Advisor: Kyle Merritt

For more information on Bay County Tobacco Free Partnership, or SWAT, contact Bonnie Steelman at 850-872-4455, ext. 9690 or or visit

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit