For Immediate Release
May 15, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461


KDHE Releases Report on Kansas Tobacco Use

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)recently released the Tobacco Use in Kansas 2007 Status Report. This report highlights current Kansas adult and youth tobacco use statistics, efforts to reduce tobacco use, information about the health effects of secondhand smoke and recommendations to improve tobacco prevention in Kansas. To view the full report visit www.kdheks.gov/tobacco.

“Tobacco use remains the most preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S. and in Kansas,” said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “Tobacco use typically begins as a choice and quickly progresses to an addiction that substantially impacts all Kansans – individual tobacco users as well as those exposed to secondhand smoke.”

Approximately 3,900 Kansans die from smoking-related diseases every year and more than 290 Kansans die annually from secondhand smoke. Tobacco-related diseases include heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis and oral cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 87 percent of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

KDHE’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program follows the agency’s mission of promoting responsible choices to protect the health of all Kansans. The program is working to improve Kansans’ health by reducing tobacco use, preventing youth from starting to use tobacco and reducing non-users’ exposure to secondhand smoke.

“Kansas has made progress in tobacco prevention with limited funding, but much work remains,” said Bremby. “Studies show 1 in 5 Kansas adults are current smokers and more than 1 in 4 Kansas high school students are currently using some form of tobacco.”

The Kansas Tobacco Use Prevention Program manages the Kansas Tobacco Quitline 1-866-KAN-STOP (1-866-526-7867) and provides resources and technical assistance to community coalitions for development, enhancement and evaluation of state and local tobacco prevention initiatives. For additional information on the Tobacco Use Prevention Program visit www.kdheks.gov/tobacco.