Watch any old movie, or even an episode of Mad Men and you’ll get the idea we have made a great deal of progress when it comes to tobacco use.
That said, we still have a ways to go.
In Allen County, nearly 20 percent of adults smoke. That’s better than the nearly 50 percent that once downed cigarettes by the pack, but given what we now know about the effects of smoking of the smoker and those around him, it’s still far too many.
So Activate Allen County is taking the month of May to remind Allen County residents of all the ways we can work to make our county a healthier place.
• Start off with smokers. If you smoke or use any tobacco product, go to www.activateallencounty.com and take our pledge to help make Allen County tobacco-free. Even if you don’t smoke, but want to be involved in the process, take the pledge.
• If you quit, share your story, Go to our website or join us on Facebook or Twitter and share your quit story. We’ll make sure to share it with the rest of the community. Hopefully, your story will motivate others to quit.
• On Thursday, May 22,, join us for our Smoke-Free Housing event. The event begins at 1 p.m. at Luther Pines apartments. You will hear from experts about how simple it can be to help make your housing complex smoke-free.
• One Friday, May 30, join us at Martin Luther King Park for a Tobacco Product Litter Clean-up in recognition of World No Tobacco Day. We start at 10 a.m. You’ll be shocked and disgusted by the number of butts we find.
• Finally, on Saturday, May 31, celebrate World No Tobacco Day, Nearly 6 million people die from tobacco related illness each year. 600,000 of these are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke.
There are plenty of other ways to help make the county – and the world – tobacco free. One thing we know is that increasing excise taxes on tobacco is considered to be the most cost-effective tobacco control measure. Research shows that higher taxes are especially effective in reducing tobacco use among lower-income groups and in preventing young people from starting to smoke. Put simply, raise tobacco tax; lower death and disease.
To find out more about how to quit or help others quit, or to participate in any of the programs coming up this month, contact the Activate Allen County offices at 419-221-5035, or visit us online at www.activateallencounty.com.