MILTON —  The Santa Rosa County Chapter of Students Working Against Tobacco, a  statewide youth organization, is recruiting sixth- through 12th-graders for membership.

The group's mission is to mobilize, educate, and equip Florida youths to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco.

Persons who join may do such activities as community education and outreach, public speaking, data collection and advocacy.

SWAT goals include:


Provide Florida youth with a voice to stand up to Big Tobacco through a coordinated movement against the tobacco industry.
Advocate for local policy change to achieve their long-term goal of de-normalizing tobacco in their communities.
Provide young people with the chance to be advocates for tobacco-free policies and get involved in their schools, communities, region, and state.
Serve as a voice to the local Tobacco Free Partnership and to provide the local tobacco program with insightful information and expert advice on combating tobacco use by teens within the state of Florida.
Allow youths to gain “real life” experience through planning, executing, and evaluating tobacco prevention activities.

Santa Rosa’s SWAT chapter meets one or two times per month at the Florida Department of Health in Milton. The chapter includes clubs at Avalon Middle, Hobbs Middle, Holley-Navarre Middle, Jay High, and Milton High schools.

However, it is not necessary to attend one of those schools to join SWAT.

“We are looking for youth from diverse backgrounds with a variety of skills and talents to enhance our local program,” said Kristie Beckstrom, Santa Rosa County SWAT Coordinator.

Students and their parents may call 850-564-2297 for more information or attend the next meeting, which is 5:30-6:30 July 22 at the Florida Department of Health, 5527 Stewart St.