alina-palmer_web.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE — Florida’s Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) recently elected new members to its Youth Advocacy Board.

The members of SWAT’s newly elected Youth Advocacy Board include: Alina Palmer of Broward County, Alexander Morato of Monroe County, Melissa Franco of Hendry County, Ashlyn Minshew of Wakulla County, Matthew Goodson of Leon County, Addie Benz of Santa Rosa County, Kahreem Golden of Putnam County, Ansley Pentz of Levy County, Katie Boyett of Alachua County, Mariajose Ayala of Hillsborough County, Justin Smith of Highlands County and Morgan Rock of Pinellas County.

The mission of SWAT is to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize the use of tobacco. They are a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco-free future. They seek to encourage tobacco-free norms, making tobacco less desirable, less acceptable and less accessible.

The Youth Advocacy Board works in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Prevention Program and Tobacco Free Florida to determine the direction and scope of both the SWAT organization and the youth tobacco prevention component of the statewide media campaign.

“Youth advocates play a key role in changing perceptions about tobacco in our community,” said Paula Thaqi, director of the Broward County Health Department, which manages SWAT chapters in the county. “These are ambitious students who have the energy, passion and knowledge to create positive results and influence in both their peers and the community.”

Members of the SWAT Youth Advocacy Board will serve a term through June 30, 2012.

For more information on SWAT Chapters in Broward County call 954-467-4807 or visit


NEWLY ELECTED: The new Youth Advocacy Board member for Florida’s Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) include Alina Palmer, Broward County.