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Come to the Altus Times to get your free Quit Kit. Seen here with the kits are, left to right, Robin Roberson, inserter, and Mercedes Graham, the new receptionist at the Altus Times. Quit Kits are available in both English and Spanish.
World No-Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed on May 31 to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has selected “tobacco industry interference” as the theme for this year’s event.
According to the WHO, tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of mortality. The global tobacco smoking will cause the life of nearly six million (6,000,000) people each year, of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to second-hand smoke. In the United States, 443,000 deaths are reported annually as a result of tobacco use. This number includes the number of deaths that are from secondhand smoke exposure. In Oklahoma, tobacco use causes the premature death of about 5,800 Oklahomans each year, or an average of 16 each day, more than from any other cause.
The campaign will focus on the need to expose and counter the tobacco industry’s brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) because of the serious danger they pose to public health.
Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to second-hand smoke. Unless we act, it will kill up to 8 million people by 2030, of which more than 80% will live in low- and middle-income countries.
In an attempt to halt the adoption of pictorial health warnings on packages of tobacco, the tobacco industry recently adopted the novel tactic of suing countries under bilateral investment treaties, claiming that the warnings impinge the companies’ attempts to use their legally-registered brands.
Meanwhile, the tobacco industry’s attempts to undermine the treaty continue on other fronts, particularly with regard to countries’ attempts to ban smoking in enclosed public places and to ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
World No Tobacco Day 2012 will educate policy-makers and the general public about the tobacco industry’s nefarious and harmful tactics.
It will also be in keeping with the letter and the spirit of the WHO FCTC. The preamble of the treaty recognizes “the need to be alert to any efforts by the tobacco industry to undermine or subvert tobacco control efforts and the need to be informed of activities of the tobacco industry that have a negative impact on tobacco control efforts”.
On World No Tobacco Day 2012, and throughout the following year, WHO will urge countries to put the fight against tobacco industry interference at the heart of their efforts to control the global tobacco epidemic.
The Jackson County Tobacco Education Committee along with the Jackson County Health Department and the Jackson County Community Health Action Team recognize that quitting is difficult and want to offer assistance to those who need it. The Altus Times and KWHW/KRKZ radio station have both agreed to hand out “Quit Kits” to anyone interested in quitting tobacco. These kits are available in English and Spanish and contain OK Tobacco Helpline information along with other items that are helpful in quitting.
Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline (1-800-QUIT NOW) offers assistance to Oklahomans in receiving free telephone and web-based based quit coaching and a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches, lozenges or gum. People who call the Helpline and also use patch, gum or other quitting medications are more than twice as likely to quit. The phone call to the Helpline is FREE and so are the services they offer. Most people who call the Helpline are eligible to receive FREE patches or gum. More importantly the Helpline works! Thousands of Oklahomans have already called the Helpline and found out that the Helpline coach made sense and gave them ideas about how to quit and stay quit. QUIT NOW – there’s never a better time! The Helpline is funded by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the US Center for Disease Control.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust is committed to improving the health and quality of life of all Oklahomans through accountable programs and services that address the hazards of tobacco use and other health issues. Youth are most likely to be influenced to smoke by cigarette marketing than by peer pressure and that one-third of underage experimentation with smoking is attributed to tobacco company advertising. For more information, please contact the Jackson County Health Department at 580-482-7308.
Tonya Pogue, BS, Tobacco Coordinator Jackson County Health Dept