This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
It has long been recognized smoking is harmful to the health of not just those who smoke, but those around them as well. Luckily, we can take steps to promote a healthier community be creating smoke-free environments for our residents. According to a report by the Surgeon General, smoke-free laws and policies that prohibit smoking in indoor areas reduce smoking, protect nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke indoors, and improve health. Carson City Health and Human Services’ Tobacco Prevention and Control Program is pleased to be a part of the effort to make Carson City a Smoke Free community.
In the United States, smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death, claiming 480,000 lives per year; 42,000 of those deaths are related to exposure to secondhand smoke. Additionally, 16 million Americans are living with a smoking-related illness. Smoking costs a lot in terms of lives, but the financial costs are staggering as well. Nevada alone spends $1.08 billion annually on smoking-related health costs.
Currently, it’s difficult to find affordable smoke-free housing in Carson City, and some residents report having to go to Reno. One of the efforts of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program has been to find housing for residents who wish to live in smoke-free conditions or have medical needs that require them to be free from smoke. Carson City Health and Human Services has contacted numerous landlords and managers of multi-unit housing complexes to work on smoke-free housing alternatives for our residents. If you’re interested in housing smoke-free efforts, the Health Department has toolkits for both landlords/managers or residents to go smoke free. You can also access the toolkit on the Carson City Health and Human Services web page at www.Gethealthycarsoncity.org.
The good news is despite some challenges, Carson City smoking rates continue to decline. Recent data showed only 16.3 percent of Carson City residents smoke. That means 83.7 percent don’t smoke. If you’re a tobacco user who would like to join the majority and be free from smoking, chewing, e-cigs, or any nicotine products, let us help you quit. Call the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT NOW or use the online service at NevadaTobaccoQuitline.com. You’ll receive 4-5 sessions with a professional counselor that are customized to you, not a one-size-fits-all program. The services are confidential and easy to access. You can also check with your insurance provider to see if they provide cessation services, or contact Carson Tahoe Health at 775-445-7651 to learn about its Freedom from Smoking group classes.
For more information about other Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or visit us at www.facebook.com/cchhs.