History - SWAT Timeline
Florida won a landmark victory against the tobacco industry; $11.3 billion which later increased to $13.1 billion.
SWAT was created at the Teen Tobacco Summit where 600 middle and high school youth met and created SWAT as a way to spread their message about the tobacco industry.
The truth train pulled out of the station on its 10 city tour designed to spread the truth about the tobacco industry to Florida teens. At stops around the state youth boarded the train to learn about how the tobacco industry uses manipulative tricks to addict them.
Operation SWAT: SWAT youth along with their county tobacco free partnership members conducted random retail checks to survey the placement of tobacco products and point of sale ads. From their findings they were able to gather the evidence needed to support the over 50 city and county ordinances that would be enacted ordering tobacco products be placed behind the sales counter at stores.
SWAT youth end their statewide initiative “Big Tobacco On the Run” with a discussion with Corky Newton, Vice President of Corporate and Youth Responsibility Programs at Brown & Williamson. During the meeting SWAT youth challenged B & W to adopt their Guidelines to Reduce Exposure to Tobacco Marketing. Big Tobacco On The Run concluded with nearly 9,000 tobacco magazine ads being returned to tobacco companies with stickers displaying, “Rejected, Rebuffed, Returned”.
||SWAT challenges Phillip Morris to “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”. Phillip Morris was spending millions on ads to brag about their good deeds. Meanwhile, they were in the same bad business of marketing cigarettes to teens.|
|Sept 2001||“SWAT Goes to Hollywood” was a statewide youth initiative designed to raise awareness about the uses of tobacco in movies and the influence the tobacco industry has on the movie industry|
“Out of the Air” was adopted as the SWAT Statewide initiative. This campaign raised awareness of the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure. It was also instrumental in educating Floridians of the benefits of smoke-free environments. In November 2002, Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment to make workplaces smoke-free.
Escambia County Tobacco Free Partnership wins Partnership of the Year Award. Each year at the annual Teen Tobacco Summit, a county tobacco free partnership is awarded for their tobacco control successes. Congrats to Ron Davis, Ildi Gaspar and SWAT member Thomas Philpot for the leadership and hard work you gave your partnership!
|March 2003||SWAT launched their “Underestimated” Campaign which was a grassroots marketing initiative to let the tobacco industry know the youth of Florida won’t just sit back and be manipulated. The industry may be able to spend $367 million marketing their product, but they should never underestimate Florida teens.|
|March 2004||What would you do for $51 Billion? That wasn’t the name of a new game show or reality TV. The 51-Billion campaign was created by SWAT to show their peers around the state the lengths the tobacco industry would go to protect their profits. In just one year, one U.S. tobacco company made $51 billion dollars. What do you think they would do to protect that kind of money?|
||SWAT makes a global impact. SWAT Youth and our own Ron Davis were invited to share their expertise on advocacy and tobacco control to a newly formed youth driven movement in Canada called HCAT.|
|February 2005||The Teen Tobacco Summit 8 was unlike any other. Teens jumped on buses for a one day 9 city advocacy tour. Between stops, youth learned key tobacco issues and advocacy skills. The Tour culminated in the filming of a SWAT recruitment PSA in Orlando, FL.|
||The first Project 1200 is erected in Miami. Each day 1200 Americans die from tobacco. That is why the tobacco industry calls teenagers “replacement smokers”—we are meant to replace each of the 1200. Instead, youth from Miami honored the 1200 with a challenge to their peers and community members to stand up against the industry with a moving and educational display.|
|October 2008||With much enthusiasm, SWAT youth have their first organizational meeting in two years. Members from counties all over the state developed their new mission statement, elected a Youth Advocacy Board and re-ignited their desire to create a tobacco-free generation.|
|February 2009||Santa Rosa SWAT along with the support of their community have encouraged their county commissioners to pass a resolution banning candy flavored tobacco. This is the first step toward banning these products and a huge blow to corporate tobacco’s plan to use candy flavors to disguise an addictive and deadly product.|