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DOH-Volusia - Volusia Businesses Join Tobacco-Free Trend

March 28, 2018

Daytona Beach, FL. - Four of Volusia County's largest employers are leading by example when it comes to creating a tobacco-free work environment for their employees and their customers through policies and incentives.

Both Florida Hospital and Halifax Hospital have created a safe, smoke-free environment by eliminating smoking on their campuses for employees and visitors. Daytona International Speedway has a smoke-free stadium that is not clouded by second-hand smoke. They also offer tobacco-free incentives to their employees and encourage tobacco cessation. The Daytona Beach Tortugas joined the trend by making their entire ballpark tobacco-free for employees and visitors. This spring marks the start of the Tortugas' first tobacco-free season.

"Going tobacco-free was an easy decision as an organization focused on the commitment to our community, youth and its families," said Ryan Keur, president of the Daytona Beach Tortugas. "We have proven our commitment to being much more than a baseball team. Acting as role models, we can help build a healthier and stronger Volusia County."

Tobacco-free worksites protect employees from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and can also encourage current tobacco users to reduce their use and help those who are trying to quit. A tobacco-free worksite is good for a business's bottom line, saving employers an average of $6,000 a year per employee. According to the American Lung Association, smoking costs Florida businesses about $19.6 billion a year due to lost productivity, premature death and healthcare expenditures.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. On average, smokers die about 10 years earlier than non-smokers. Exposure to secondhand smoke also causes disease and premature death among nonsmokers.

"Tens of thousands of children and adults die each year of health complications related to secondhand smoke exposure," said Patricia Boswell, Department of Health in Volusia County administrator. "There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke."

Smoking and secondhand smoke harm nearly every organ in the body and cause cancer, heart disease, sudden infant death syndrome, and stroke.

Smokers who quit greatly reduce their risk for adverse health effects. Quitting can be difficult but help is free through Tobacco Free Florida's Quit Your Way programs. Information is online at tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.

To learn how your business can create a healthier, tobacco-free environment, contact the Tobacco Prevention Program at DOH-Volusia at 386-274-0601.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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