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Tobacco Free Alachua Spotlights the County-Wide Tobacco Retail License and Local Prevention Efforts

By FDOH Alachua Tobacco Staff

April 28, 2021

Contact:
Andreana Apostolopoulos
Andreana.Apostolopoulos@flhealth.gov
(352) 334-7914

Alachua County, Fla. – Efforts to slow the vaping epidemic and the uptake of tobacco products amongst youth and young adults have come a long way in Alachua County. It has been a year and half since the local Tobacco Retail License was approved by the Board of County Commissioners, making the legal age to purchase tobacco and vaping products 21, while creating a local licensing and inspection system for retailers. According to the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, 1 in 3 Alachua County youth have tried tobacco or e-cigarettes, making the need for such an ordinance even more important.1 With this being the first of its kind in the State of Florida, county leaders and community partners have worked together to both educate residents and ensure that tobacco retailers are following the local ordinance. During the 2020 calendar year, inspections conducted by Information Systems & Networks Corporation (ISN) has shown

  • 108 stores inspected with 36 violations (33% violation rate)
  • Violators included large grocery stores, gas stations, and local businesses

Tobacco Free Alachua has lead outreach efforts in the community by mobilizing volunteers to distribute educational resources. These resources include additional information on the ordinance, reminders of the penalties for violating the ordinance, and FDA Date of Birth Calendars to reference when checking customer IDs. Tobacco Free Alachua thanks the Alachua County Board of Commissioners, Alachua County Growth Management, ISN, and partnership members for their support in managing the Tobacco Retail License during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forward, Tobacco Free Alachua will continue to strengthen outreach and education within the community with the overall goal of limiting youth access to tobacco and vaping products.

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About Tobacco Free Alachua

Tobacco Free Alachua is a diverse community partnership of concerned citizens, local non-profits, businesses, and health advocates who work to reduce the use and effects of tobacco in Alachua County, FL. The partnership was established in 2008 and is supported by the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County. Learn more at https://www.tobaccofreealachua.org/

and https://www.facebook.com/tobaccofreealachua/

1Florida Department of Health(2020) Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, Retrieved from http://www.floridahealth.gov/statistics-and-data/survey-data/florida-youth-survey/youth-risk-behavior-survey/2020-FYTS-County-Reports/_documents/2020-FYTS-County-Reports/_documents/Alachua2020.pdf