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Perfect time is now to quit using tobacco products

Cortney Bloomer
Carson City Health and Human Services

This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.

Every year, on May 31, Carson City Health and Human Services joins with the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners from around the globe to mark World No Tobacco Day. This day is a chance to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

Globally, tobacco use is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults. In addition to being the leading cause of death worldwide for tobacco users, tobacco contributes to a number of negative health outcomes, including many types of cancer, heart disease, lung disease and stroke.

Many of those who are sickened and killed by tobacco smoke are non-users who are exposed to secondhand smoke. Here in Nevada, 67 percent of adults report exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace, at home, in vehicles or in other public spaces. That’s the nation’s worst rate of secondhand-smoke exposure. It is important we all work together to create safe, clean spaces where people do not have to worry about being exposed to tobacco smoke.

The good news is that many adults who smoke are interested in quitting, and more than 50 percent of them attempted to quit last year. Cindy Hannah, Carson City Health and Human Services’ tobacco-treatment specialist, says “Spring is a great time to start a new beginning of becoming a non-smoker, and we are here to help you begin that journey.” She encourages those who are interested in quitting tobacco to call the Health Department to make an appointment. The sessions at the Health Department are free, and for many, having the support and accountability of a tobacco-cessation counselor can help guide them to a healthy, smoke-free lifestyle. Hannah lends support and leads prospective quitters through goal-setting, developing a plan and setting a quit date.

Carson City Health and Human Services wants to challenge our community to be smoke-free this Friday for World No Tobacco Day. If you need help to quit smoking or know someone else who would like to quit, call Cindy Hannah at 887-2190 to make an appointment. For more information about other Health Department services, check out our website at http://www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or visit us at http://www.facebook.com/cchhs.