Viewpoint: World No Tobacco Day 2017 – District Health Department #10 encourages smokers to stop smoking
Each year on May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2017 is “Tobacco – a threat to development.”
WHO is joined by organizations and individuals around the globe to raise awareness about the health harms caused by tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. This year, in celebration of World No Tobacco Day, District Health Department #10 (DHD #10) will be distributing packets with information regarding the dangers of smoking while pregnant and information about resources to help people quit tobacco use. Within the 10 counties in the District Health Department #10 region, pre-natal smoking rates are 25% compared to 19% for the State of Michigan, according to the Michigan League for Public Policy.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Michigan, killing more than 16,200 Michigan residents each year. Approximately 5,800 Michigan youth end up using tobacco on a regular daily basis each year, and more than 1/3 of these children will die prematurely from diseases caused by tobacco use. In addition, e-cigarette use among youth is on the rise. In 2015, 23% of Michigan high school students used e-cigarettes.
“Tobacco use and addiction begins during youth and young adulthood. Ninety-five percent of adults who smoke cigarettes began smoking before the age of 21,” said Donna Norkoli, DHD #10 Health Planner. “It’s critical that Michigan invest in tobacco prevention and control programming and implement effective tobacco control strategies to protect our kids from a lifetime of addiction to a deadly product.”
In 2016, Michigan spent just $1.628 million on tobacco prevention and control programming, while tobacco use cost the state nearly $4.6 billion in health care costs, including nearly $1.4 billion in Medicaid costs. The tobacco industry spends an estimated $300 million annually to market their products in Michigan.
Raising the price of cigarettes and other tobacco products is a proven, effective way to reduce tobacco use rates and prevent kids from starting to use tobacco. Spending a portion of the revenue generated from the price increase on tobacco prevention and control programming increases the positive impact.
Karen Ripke, DHD #10 Health Educator, wants people to know that there is help available to Michigan residents who want to quit using tobacco through the Michigan Tobacco Quitline.
“Callers to the Quitline can receive information and referral and, if qualified, can enroll in a free coaching program and even receive nicotine replacement medications to assist them in quitting,” said Ripke.
Call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or visit online at https://michigan.quitlogix.org/.
District Health Department #10 also provides one-on-one counseling with recommendations for nicotine replacement medications in partnership with your healthcare provider. For more information or for help quitting tobacco use, please contact your local healthcare provider or Karen Ripke at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about World No Tobacco Day visit http://www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2017/event/en/. You may also visit www.livewelll4health.org for information on the health effects of tobacco use and resources for quitting.
District Health Department #10 (DHD #10) is Michigan's largest geographical health department, mandated to promote and protect the public from unsafe and hazardous conditions and provide methods of promoting good health and disease prevention. Some of the programs provided by DHD #10 include Immunizations, Infectious Disease Control, STI Testing and Counseling, WIC, Children’s Special Health Services, Hearing and Vision Screening, Family Planning, Cancer Screening, Worksite Wellness, Smoking Cessation, Substance Use Prevention, Chronic Disease Prevention, and Environmental Health Services. DHD #10 serves Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Newaygo, Oceana, and Wexford counties. For more information, visit www.dhd10.org.