For Immediate Release
Mike Heideman, KDHE, 785-296-4363
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is joining thousands of organizations worldwide that are raising awareness about the dangers of tobacco use for World No Tobacco Day on Sunday, May 31.
This yearly event informs the public about the dangers of using tobacco, what the World Health Organization (WHO) is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and to protect future generations. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world, the U.S. and in Kansas.
“World No Tobacco Day is good time to examine tobacco use in Kansas and the related health effects,” said KDHE Secretary Roderick L. Bremby. “Currently 17.9 percent of Kansas adults smoke, 21 percent of Kansas high school students smoke and 16 percent of Kansas high school males use smokeless tobacco. As a result of these smoking rates, nearly 3,900 adult Kansans die from smoking-related cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory disease each year.”
When Kansans are ready to quit tobacco use, American Cancer Society counselors at the Kansas Tobacco Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) are ready to help Kansans quit during one-on-one telephone counseling sessions. Kansans can call the Quitline anytime day or night to start the process. Once enrolled in the free service, callers will work with a counselor to set a quit date and create a plan to fight cravings and other challenges. Studies have found that using a tobacco Quitline can more than double a person’s chances of successfully quitting tobacco use.
The Kansas Tobacco Use Prevention Program manages the toll-free Kansas Tobacco 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/2009/en/.