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

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GOING SMOKE-FREE PROTECTS YOUR HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

By Florida Department of Health in Broward, Public Information Office

May 31, 2017

May 31, 2017

Contact: Candy Sims, Public Information Officer

(954) 467-4784 – candy.sims@flhealth.gov

Fort Lauderdale, FL – The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program and the Florida Department of Health in Broward County are observing World No Tobacco Day by raising awareness about cigarette litter, which adds up to an estimated 1.69 billion pounds of litter worldwide per year.

Each year, the public health community observes World No Tobacco Day on May 31 to focus on issues associated with tobacco. On Wednesday, May 31, 2017, the public is invited to visit the lobby of the Broward County Government Center, located at 115 S. Andrews Avenue - Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, for information about protecting the environment from toxic tobacco litter by volunteering for the next Fort Lauderdale Beach Sweep and how to become a member of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Broward County.

The Fort Lauderdale Beach Sweep meets the second Saturday of each month at A1A and Las Olas Blvd. Its purpose is to provide clean beaches for Fort Lauderdale's recreational, economic and environmental wellbeing.  “Since our inception, during the 21 consecutive months of beach clean-ups, we have had over 2,000 volunteers helping clean our beach by collecting over 200,000 cigarette butts,” said Barry Max Levy, Vice President, Fort Lauderdale Beach Sweep.

Cigarettes that are discarded on roadways and sidewalks can end up in storm drains where they are carried as runoff to rivers and ultimately to the ocean and its beaches. In fact, cigarette butts are the single most collected item in beach cleanups worldwide. Fish, birds and other marine life can mistake the toxic cigarette butts for food.

Discarded cigarette butts are non-biodegradable litter. Nearly all of cigarettes sold in the United States have filters made of cellulose acetate, a plastic product.

Fort Lauderdale Beach Sweep Volunteers meet the second Saturday of every month at 300 South Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., from 7-11am, to clean the beach. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/flbeachsweep or call (954) 797-7793.

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About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

About Tobacco Free Florida

The department’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 159,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

About the Fort Lauderdale Beach Sweep:

Fort Lauderdale Beach Sweep, an entity of Beach Sweep America, Inc. and a partner of the City of Fort Lauderdale, is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide clean beaches for our environmental, recreational and economic well-being. Serving a community of 176,000 that hosts more than 14.3 million international and domestic tourists each year, Fort Lauderdale Beach Sweep is committed to keeping our beaches in pristine condition. Volunteers meet the second Saturday of every month at 300 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., from 7-11am, to clean the beach. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/flbeachsweep or call (954) 797-7793.

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