News and Events

Tobacco Free Partnership of Dixie County Sponsors Local Little League to Reduce Smokeless Tobacco Around Youth
March 28, 2016

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Dixie County is countering the smokeless tobacco message by sponsoring the Dixie County Little League Sport Season in 2016. This sponsorship opportunity allows educational outreach to the little league baseball teams during the tee-ball and softball seasons, including playoff games.

This League has 26 teams with 10-12 players, and each team will have at least we 12 games. Parents, Grandparents and visitors will be attending these games at the Dixie County Little League fields, during which each visitor and athlete will have access to the Smokeless Tobacco Policy information through field banners and roster programs. This sponsorship will also include media via newspaper ads, and website links that will allow for non-attendees to learn about the smokeless tobacco policy work being done by the Tobacco Free Partnership of Dixie County.

There is a very strong social norm for the use of smokeless tobacco among youth and young adults in Dixie County. Based on the 2014 FYTS 18.9% of High School Student in Dixie County have used smokeless in the past 30 days. This is much higher than the State of Florida at 5.4%.

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Dixie County proposes to extend this initiative to stop smokeless tobacco use through policies to restrict smokeless tobacco use at youth sports leagues. The youth look up to coaches, parents, and other adults as behavioral role models, and the more youth see smokeless tobacco use by adults the more they begin to assume it is an acceptable adult behavior. The Partnership hopes that the removal of smokeless tobacco use in youth-friendly environments will de-normalize smokeless tobacco use and promote tobacco free social norms.

This Sponsorship is an important step to bring awareness to the dangers of smokeless tobacco and to begin building a relationship with the baseball community in Dixie County.  The sponsorship includes a full-page ad in the roster program, "Opening Day" sponsor recognition, a rotating ad on the Dixie County Little League website, a sponsor recognition link on Dixie County Little League website, a banner on the field, a sponsorship plaque, recognition on team t-shirts and caps, and newspaper recognition that will each promote tobacco free sports.

The Tobacco Free Partnership will continue to assist the Dixie County Little League President in policy change to include smokeless tobacco use in the stands, between the fields, and in the parking lot. If a policy is adopted, the Partnership would like to help advertise the policy change, assist in promoting the policy, and post signage for all visitors to see. The league president will also be invited to attend the Partnership meetings to share the responses from the sponsorship.