Group of diverse health care students representing tobacco program

Since July 2007, the Florida AHEC Network has received funding from the Florida Legislature as part of the constitutionally-mandated appropriation to the Florida Department of Health’s comprehensive anti-tobacco program. This funding has been used to develop and successfully implement a statewide program that reduces the use of tobacco by delivering effective, evidence-based tobacco cessation services in local communities, and training programs for healthcare professionals.

As a result, GSAHEC has trained numerous health professions students and healthcare providers from a wide range of disciplines to effectively address tobacco use and dependence with their patients, and provided tobacco cessation services to thousands of tobacco users in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

“If I can do it, anyone can!! I was embarrassed to keep going back (3 times I took the class), but you and the programs never gave up on me and now I have not touched a cigarette since June (4 months ago). I really thought I was never going to do it.”

Fred, DeSoto County

“Thank you for providing the smoking cessation class for the City of North Port. Your presentation style had the lasting impact needed for our diverse group of 5, and your continued encouragement has helped us to become quitters.”

Lori, Sarasota County

“I’m 77 years old, and I have finally quit smoking! I am so happy that I could go on TV and shout from the rooftops if Tobacco Free Florida ever wanted me to. The class was wonderful and my wife and I are so excited to finally be done with smoking.”

Pat and Bill, Manatee County

“I come from a very musical family and I love to sing. I lost my voice over 20 years ago due to smoking. With the help from Gulfcoast South AHEC, 1-800-QUIT-NOW and the support from Nathan and Melissa, I was able to quit smoking! You added years to my life and you gave me my voice back. Thank you!”

Sandy, Charlotte County

“I have been a smoker for over 40 years. I have tried to stop smoking in the past and never had any success. Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center was the best choice I have ever made! They have helped me out so much! Nicole, Nathan, Xenia, Melissa, and Joan—the smoking coaches—they explain so much, they listen, and they are there to help you, even if you’re not in class, they will get back to you!! I wish I would have found them years ago. I would highly recommend them! 10 stars! If you want or need help to quit smoking, go through GSAHEC! I hope my testimony will encourage you to stop. Please don’t wait. I’ll be honest, it’s not easy to quit but working with the AHEC coaches, having the patches/gum/lozenges, and knowing you have such a GREAT team will help you do it!! I’m proof. Thank you GSAHEC!”

Jami, Manatee County

“Just want to give you a shout of thanks for the meeting last night! The instructor at Gulfcoast South AHEC was very informative and I would like to thank her. After 30 years of smoking, I really feel I can do this. I can be smoke free. Thank you, Tobacco Free Florida, stay in touch!”

Dave, Charlotte County