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Archives Index / Tobacco Free Florida Partners with NASCAR Driver Jeffrey Earnhardt (posted: 6/21/12)
Page last updated: 06/21/12
Source: Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications
Contact: Jessica Hammonds, Press Secretary
- The formidable young driver encourages youth to live a healthy lifestyle without tobacco -Tallahassee, Fla. – Professional race car driver Jeffrey Earnhardt is partnering with the Florida Department of Health to support the statewide tobacco cessation and prevention program, Tobacco Free Florida (TFF). The health-conscious 23-year old comes from an impressive pedigree of stock car race drivers. His great grandfather is International Motorsports Hall of Famer Ralph Earnhardt; his grandfather is industry and cultural icon Dale Earnhardt; and his uncle is NASCAR star and nine-time winner of the Most Popular Driver Award, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Earnhardt’s affiliation with TFF will span the remainder of the 2012 NASCAR season, and includes special appearances throughout Central Florida over the next two weeks where guests can interact with Earnhardt and learn more about his involvement with the campaign.
Earnhardt’s #15 Nationwide Series car will also carry the Tobacco Free Florida logo around the track at Daytona International Speedway during the Subway Jalapeño 250 Powered by Coca-Cola on the night of Friday, July 6, and at the 2012 Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead Miami Speedway on November 17, 2012.
“Tobacco use remains a serious problem, and each year thousands of kids across the state of Florida start smoking,” said Earnhardt, who has lent his time to a bevy of children’s causes through organizations like Tim Tebow’s W15H Foundation, AIDB (Alabama Institute of the Deaf and Blind) and Stock-for-Tots. “If I can inspire just a few kids to be healthy and tobacco free, then I’ve done my job.”
On June 19, Earnhardt, along with a group of kids from Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) and representatives from Daytona International Speedway, held a special event and press conference marking the beginning of a new era, as the iconic Daytona International Speedway banned smoking in its grandstands.
The smoking ban at Daytona, where NASCAR headquarters are located, is especially noteworthy because for years Big Tobacco was a well-entrenched sponsor of NASCAR. R.J. Reynolds instituted the Winston Cup, and reigned as the title sponsor from 1971 to 2003, affecting the culture of stock car racing in the U.S.
“More than 21,000 kids will become new smokers this year, and that’s just in the state of Florida,” said Kristina Wiggins, Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of Health. “Working with a young, pro-health public figure like Earnhardt was a coup for Tobacco Free Florida, and will help us further spread the message that tobacco, in all its forms, is toxic.”
ABOUT TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA
Tobacco Free Florida is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. The program is managed by the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida.
Smokers and smokeless tobacco users interested in quitting are encouraged to call the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW to speak with a Quit Coach. To learn about Tobacco Free Florida and the state’s free quit smoking resources, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on TFF’s Facebook and Twitter.
Page last updated: 06/21/12