This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
Each year, 480,000 Americans die from tobacco-related diseases, the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. As we continue to educate the public about the risks associated with tobacco use, we nationally recognize Thursday, Nov. 17, as the Great American Smoke Out, a day to make the United States smoke free.
Universities and college campuses across the country will join together to host the One Day Stand Against Tobacco. Participating schools ask students, faculty, and staff to stop using tobacco for one day, and to consider making this their quit date forever. Western Nevada College will be celebrating One Day Stand with special activities on all three campuses in Carson City, Douglas County and Fallon. The college will host an educational event and offer health screening from the nursing students.
In addition to the education and health screenings being offered as part of the One Day Stand, the day will mark the kick-off of a survey of students, staff and faculty who will collect information on how the Tobacco Free Policy is working and on the future of a healthy campus initiative. Last fall, the College took an important step by implementing the first phase of its Tobacco Free Policy. Smoking is now allowed on campus only in designated smoking areas. Eventually, the goal is to transition to a campus that’s entirely smoke free.
With tobacco taking the lives of more Americans annually than alcohol, AIDS, homicides and accidents combined, the Great American Smoke Out is an opportunity to encourage Americans to quit smoking for good. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, event organizers want to remind those who still smoke the health benefits of quitting begin the moment you quit. Most importantly, it’s never too late to quit. This day could be the start of every day as a non-smoker.
The cost of smoking in Nevada is about $6.50 per pack. For pack-a-day smokers, that’s almost $2,400 per year. Additionally, Nevada spends $1.08 billion annually in healthcare costs related to tobacco.
Carson City Health and Human Services want to encourage smokers in our community to use Nov. 17, 2016 as your quit date. To have the best chance at success, combine counseling with medications to help you quit. Check with your insurance provider to see what cessation coverage they offer, and then talk to your healthcare provider about getting the help you need. Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center offers Freedom from Smoking classes. Call Carson Tahoe at 775-445-7651 to sign up.
Also, Nevada offers free counseling through the Nevada Tobacco Quitline. You will receive professional, individualized counseling via phone or online. Call 1-800-Quit Now (1-800-784-8669) or log on at NevadaTobaccoQuitline.com.
Here’s to your health. Get Healthy, Carson City.
For more information about other Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or visit us at www.facebook.com/cchhs.