An estimated 46 million adults in the United States currently smoke, and approximately half will die prematurely from smoking. Heart attack is the most common cause of death for a smoker but that is not the only cause for concern. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women and more than 80% of lung cancers are thought to result from smoking. Smoking causes nearly one in five deaths from all causes. Some experts were particularly disheartened by a CDC finding in a second report that nearly all children who live with a smoker - 98 percent - have measurable tobacco toxins in their body.
The smoking rate - which fell dramatically since the 1960s - has basically been flat since about 2004. About 18.4 percent of U.S. adults were smokers in 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Kentucky 27.5 percent of adults smoke and 34 percent of high school students still light up.
The Great American Smokeout isn’t just for individuals. The greatest success in quitting smoking comes when people work together to overcome the problem. The Smokefree Communities Coalition encourages worksites to participate in this single day event and encourage their employees to live smoke free. For instance, Village Manor Retirement Home in Bowling Green is even taking the initiative one step further and making their community tobacco free starting in January 2011. According to Allison Cash, Activities Coordinator at Village Manor, “We felt it was important to both smokers and everyone in general. Tobacco use can affect the whole community, for instance, through second-hand smoke or the litter of cigarette butts. It is really a quality of life issue.”
If you would like more information about living smoke free at home or in your workplace, contact us at http://www.smokefreesoky.com or call Carol Douglas at the Barren River District Health Department at 270-781-8039 ext. 144 or visit www.BarrenRiverHealth.org.