Every Sumter County resident deserves a fair chance at a healthy future.


    Right now, that future is at risk.


    In Sumter County, 1 in 12 adults smoke and 1 in 6 youth ages 11-17 vapes or uses another toxic tobacco product.


    Vision & Mission

    We envision a Sumter County where all residents have a fair chance at a healthy future—free from nicotine addiction. Our mission is to mobilize the community and advance local policies that will help end nicotine addiction, protect children, and improve public health for generations to come.


    Our Motivation:

    • Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States.
    • Nine out of ten cigarette smokers start by age 18.
    • Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.
    • Nearly 30 percent of cancer deaths in Florida are caused by smoking.

    Our Methods:

    • Strengthen relationships within the local community.
    • Educate community members on tobacco-related issues.
    • Promote positive tobacco reform.
    • Build youth leaders and partnerships to invest in their community's future.
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    YOU make the difference!

    Tobacco Free Partnership of Sumter County meetings are open to the public and ALL are welcome!

    Next meeting

    Thursday, May 16, 2024

    11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

    via google meets (meet.google.com/dqn-cixm-tfw)


    Contact info@tobaccofreesumter.com for more information.


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    Your Kidneys Don't Want You to Smoke


    Sure smoking isn't good for your lungs or your heart. But did you know that smoking isn't good for your kidneys either? The Surgeon General issued a report not long ago that said that smoking causes diseases in every organ of the body—including the kidney. People who smoke are more likely to have protein in the urine. This is a sign your kidneys are under stress. The more someone smokes, the more likely they are to show kidney damage. Smokers are also more likely to need dialysis or kidney transplants.


    By quitting, you protect your children and family from illnesses caused by secondhand smoke. You also reduce the chances that they will start to smoke.


    These are all good reasons, but smoking is one of the hardest habits to break. It is very hard to quit on your own. This is something to talk with your doctor about because there are treatments that help make you more successful in quitting. Using proven cessation treatments, such as FDA-approved medications and/or individual, group or phone counseling, can double your chance of success.


    Your doctor knows your medical history and can play an important role in helping you get the proper treatment.


    So you've decided to quit. You and your doctor have set up a plan to quit. You are ready to do it. Just how do you do it?


    Choose a date to stop
    Pick your birthday or New Year's Eve, or any other day. Your Quit Date is the day you stop smoking completely.


    Change your environment.
    Get rid of all the cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work. Don't let people smoke in your home.


    Let others know you're quitting
    Your family and friends can support you. Don't hesitate to tell the people close to you about your plan. They may be there for you just when you need an encouraging word or hug. The more help you have, the better your chances are of quitting. Free programs are available at local hospitals and health centers. Call your local health department for information about programs in your area. Telephone counseling is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.


    Talk with your doctor.
    Ask questions such as: How can you help me be successful at quitting? What medication do you think would be best for me and how should I take it? What should I do if I need more help? What is smoking withdrawal like? How can I get information on withdrawal?


    Ask about medications.
    There are several drugs that can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge to smoke. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved seven medications to help you quit smoking: Nicotine (gum, inhaler, nasal spray, patch and lozenge), bupropion SR, and varenicline tartrate.


    Be prepared to fight urges.
    Smoking contains a drug, nicotine, which is addictive. When you stop smoking, nicotine is going to call out to you. You need to have a plan for when that happens so you don't go back to smoking. You can do something active, visit a friend, go somewhere where you can't smoke, or take a shower. If you can get through 5 or 10 minutes, you can get past the urge to smoke.


    Get away from places where you smoked or people you smoked with.
    If you always had a cigarette after finishing dinner, you need a plan for what to do at that moment. Change your routine. Go out for a walk. If you always had a cigarette first thing in the morning, head straight for the shower. In the time it takes for the shower, it might be enough to get you past the urge. If you have friends who smoke, meet them in places where you can't smoke, like a movie or the mall or a restaurant that doesn't allow smoking.


    Remind yourself about why you want to quit.
    On your quit date, write a list of the reasons you want to quit. Keep this list and go back to it when the urge is strong. Think about your kidneys, your heart, and your lungs. Think about the cost. Think about how healthy you will feel without smoking. Think about your family and secondhand smoke.


    Be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions.
    People who quit smoking may have times when they feel depressed, anxious, irritable, and restless. They may have difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Some of these are symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and might be helped by medicines or nicotine replacement products. Some are annoyed about weight gain. They should know that most smokers gain less than 10 pounds, and regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight.

    It's good to know that withdrawal symptoms and other problems subside over time. It helps to keep focus on how good you will feel and how healthy you will be when you get through this period. Those individuals who stop smoking for 3 months or longer have an excellent chance of remaining cigarette free for the rest of their lives.


    Find something else to put in your hands or your mouth.
    You have gotten used to having something in your hands or mouth. It might be a water bottle or a lollipop. Brush your teeth every hour. Chew gum. Some people use cinnamon sticks from the spice section of the supermarket and hold them and suck on them. They may get you through an urge.


    Practice relaxation strategies and deep breathing.
    When you are tempted to smoke, sit down and concentrate on your breathing. Take a deep breath, all the way down to your belly, and slowly, slowly exhale. As you exhale, remind yourself that you can do it. Feel the clean air coming out of your body. Go slowly and repeat three or four times. Within a few minutes, the urge to smoke may be gone.


    Identify resources to help you.
    Many groups offer written materials, programs, and advice to help smokers quit for good. Information to help people quit smoking is also available through community hospitals, the yellow pages (under "drug abuse and addiction"), public libraries, health maintenance organizations, health fairs, bookstores, and community quit-lines. The websitehttp://www.smokefree.gov provides an online guide, Clearing the Air: Quit Smoking Today, for smokers interested in quitting. The guide covers thinking about quitting, preparing to quit, quitting, and staying quit. Clearing the Air: Quit Smoking Today is also available as a print publication.

    Half of all adult smokers have quit, so you can too. You can be one of the millions of people alive today who have learned to face life without a cigarette. For staying healthy, quitting smoking is the best step you can take.


    Reasons for Quitting

    Here are some examples of reasons to quit:

    • I will feel healthier right away. My kidneys will be healthier.
    • I will have more energy and better focus.
    • My senses of smell and taste will be better. I will have whiter teeth and fresher breath. I will cough less and breathe better.
    • I will make my partner, friends, family, kids, grandchildren, and co-workers proud of me.
    • I will be proud of myself. I will feel more in control of my life. I will be a better role model for others.
    • I will have a healthier baby (if you or your partner is pregnant).
    • I will have more money to spend.
    • I won't have to worry: "When will I get to smoke next?" or "What do I do when I'm in a smoke-free place?"


    Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Effects of smoking and vaping on oral health

    A happy mouth is a happy body


    Tobacco use has detrimental effects on health, including oral health. The emergence and increasing popularity of newer tobacco and nicotine products make tobacco use one of the major public health problems in the world. Tobacco use increases the risk of oral diseases such as oral cancer, oral mucosal lesions, periodontal disease, and dental caries, among many other oral diseases and conditions.


    People who smoke have a higher risk of gum problems, tooth loss, complications after tooth removal and surgery in the mouth, and developing mouth cancer. They are more likely to get infections and don’t heal as well as non-smokers.

    Less adults smoke now than they used to, but it still remains a problem. In 2018, 13.7% of US adults smoked.


    How does smoking affect teeth, gums and oral health?


    The most common oral problems affecting people who smoke are:

    • Whitening of the soft tissue in the mouth (called smoker’s keratosis).
    • Poor healing after tooth removal (known as dry socket).
    • Tooth loss.
    • Poor healing after mouth and gum surgery.
    • Decreased taste.
    • Bad taste in the mouth and bad breath (called halitosis).
    Health risks of vaping

    Smoking e-cigarettes or water pipes (known as vaping) – may seem less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes. Yet this may not be the case for the health of your mouth.


    When you vape, you inhale e-liquids (also called vaping juice) which, even when labelled ‘nicotine-free’, can contain harmful substances. These include: 

    • Nicotine.
    • Heavy metals.
    • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
    • Cancer-causing chemicals.
    • The risk of vaping devices causing problems in your mouth is much higher if they contain nicotine.

    The long-term effects of vaping are not fully known. Yet there is some evidence that vaping can cause inflammation in the mouth, which can lead to gum disease and other oral health problems.


    Temporary loss of taste may happen in some people (also called vape tongue).


    Vaping may be seen as a way to quit smoking. Yet vaping may make it harder to quit smoking completely which increases the risk of diseases associated with tobacco use, such as mouth cancer.

    •  Smoking can impact your oral health.
    • People who smoke are at a higher risk of developing mouth cancer (oral), gum problems, losing teeth, decay on the roots of teeth, and complications after tooth removal and gum and oral surgery.
    • If you smoke tobacco or vape, it is important to look after your oral health to prevent dental problems and gum disease.
    • Quitting smoking improves mouth cancer, reduces the risk of developing gum disease and mouth cancer, and improves the person’s response to gum treatment.
    • It is very important for people who smoke to visit their dentist regularly to keep their teeth and gums healthy and check for signs of mouth cancer. They can give advice about how to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and do regular oral health and mouth cancer checks.
    • It is also important for people who vape to visit a dentist regularly to detect and treat any oral health problems. If you vape, make sure to tell your dentist this.

    Will my gums get better if I stop smoking?


    Yes. The good news is that people who quit smoking have the same risk of developing gum disease and responding to gum treatment as non-smokers.


    Once you quit smoking, don’t be alarmed if your gums bleed more. Seek treatment from a dentist or dental hygienist. They can also show you how to care for your teeth at home.


    Speak to your doctor or dentist about quitting smoking. The dental office is an excellent venue for providing cessation intervention. Smoking cessation interventions provided by oral healthcare providers include brief educational, behavioral, and pharmacological interventions.

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  • Benefits of Quitting Smoking


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    To learn more about the Tobacco Free Sumter County Partnership,

    contact info@tobaccofreesumter.com