Students Working Against Tobacco commend Speedway for smoke-free grandstands

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH

SPECIAL TO
THE DAYTONA TIMES

Teens from across Northeast Florida came together on June 19 to recognize Daytona International Speedway for making the speedway’s grandstands smoke-free. The teens from 21 surrounding counties are part of Students Working against Tobacco (SWAT).

Daytona International Speedway Vice President Andrew Gurtis and NASCAR driver Jeffrey Earnhardt are shown with the award presented by the Students Working Against Tobacco. (COURTESY OF DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY)

They also challenged other sporting and entertainment venues in the state to follow the example set by the Speedway and protect more Floridians and visitors from secondhand smoke.

The SWAT members, along with NASCAR driver Jeffrey Earnhardt, the Volusia County Health Department, and representatives from Daytona International Speedway held a press conference outside of the Gate 8 Grandstand Entrance of the speedway on June 19 at 2 p.m.

SWAT is a statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida’s youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. It is a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future.

“I’m proud that leading race organizations like Daytona are protecting our fans from tobacco smoke and are showing young fans that smoking is no longer acceptable,” said NASCAR driver and Tobacco Free Florida spokesperson Jeffrey Earnhardt. “Families see drivers and venues like Daytona as legendary and this sends a healthy message to race fans.”

First smoke-free race event for July 6
The grandstands will officially be smoke-free starting with the Subway Jalapeño 250 Powered By Coca-Cola on Friday night, July 6.

“Smoke-free policies that are being voluntarily adopted by businesses and organizations across the state are helping to save lives,” said Dr. Bonnie Sorensen, director of the Volusia County Health Department. “We should never underestimate the dangers of secondhand smoke. Breathing secondhand smoke, even in small amounts or when outside, can be harmful to your health.”

Tobacco Free Florida is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund.  The program is managed by the Florida Department of Health, specifically the Bureau of Tobacco Prevention Program.

For more information, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com.

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