For Immediate Release
Ginger Park, 785-296-1118
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)is joining thousands of organizations worldwide that are raising awareness about the dangers of tobacco and youth tobacco use for World No Tobacco Day on Saturday, May 31.
This yearly event informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and to protect future generations. The focus of this year’s World No Tobacco Day is banning tobacco advertising to reduce youth tobacco use.
“World No Tobacco Day is a good time to examine tobacco use in Kansas and especially the number of younger users,” said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “Currently, 21 percent of Kansas high school students smoke and 16 percent of Kansas high school males use smokeless tobacco. Many youth view tobacco as ‘cool,’ but they sadly don’t realize how quickly tobacco use becomes an addiction that is difficult to quit.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. It is the only legal consumer product that kills one third to one half of those who use it as intended by its manufacturers, with its victims dying on average 15 years prematurely. M ost smokers start smoking before the age of 18 and almost a quarter of these individuals begin using tobacco before the age of 10. The younger children are when they first try smoking, the more likely they are to become regular tobacco users and the less likely they are to quit.
When Kansans are ready to quit tobacco, the toll-free Kansas Tobacco Quitline 1-866-KAN-STOP (1-866-526-7867) is there to help. Experienced quit coaches work with callers to prepare for a quit date and help them make a free personalized quit plan. All calls are confidential.
The Kansas Tobacco Use Prevention Program manages the Quitline and provides resources and technical assistance to community coalitions for development, enhancement and evaluation of state and local tobacco prevention initiatives. For additional information about the Kansas Tobacco Use Prevention Program, visit www.kdheks.gov/tobacco. For more information about World No Tobacco Day visit www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/2008/en/.