Provided by Casey Miller,
Lincoln County Public Information Officer
The Great American Smokeout is just around the corner – Thursday, November 17. The American Cancer Society has been promoting this program for 36 years. The Great American Smokeout focuses on encouraging smokers to use the day to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By doing so, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk and other chronic health conditions.
In the 1986 Surgeon General’s report it was stated that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Now, more than 25 years later, tobacco use continues to be the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Despite this knowledge and many strong scientific studies that present strong evidence, more than 46 million Americans continue to smoke. The good news is that more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year.
Not only is the smoker exposed to secondhand smoke, so is everyone else who lives or visits the home. This includes family members, guests and any pets. The toll of tobacco use continues to damage family units, homes and relationships. In the US, 15.5 million children are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes every day. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke fall victim to higher incidence of SIDS, premature births, respiratory illnesses, reduced lung growth, ear infections, asthma, hearing loss, sleep apnea, higher rates of days of school missed, earlier onset of what can lead to life-long chronic conditions, and loss of parents to an early death due to the use of tobacco or exposure.
In Lincoln County, 28.7 % of adults smoke. These adults shorten their own life expectancy as well as impact the overall health and life expectancy of those they are closest to. One hundred seventy county residents are expected to die during 2011 of tobacco related diseases.
There are many options today for individuals who want to stop using tobacco: American Lung Association, “Freedom From Smoking” at www.lungusa.org; American Cancer Society, 1-877-YES-QUIT; Nicotine Anonymous, 1-877-879-6422; and Bayshore Family Medicine’s program, “Ditch Tobacco”, 541-614-0482, is the only local tobacco cessation available in Lincoln County. All Lincoln County residents are eligible for services through the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line, 1-800-QUIT-NOW. If you would like printed tobacco cessation materials, the Tobacco Prevention Education Program may have materials that could assist you, please call 541-265-0465 to request information.
.If you are a smoker, let Thursday, November 17 be the day that you make a plan to quit using tobacco. Even better, let November 17th be your freedom from tobacco day!