3300 Gingerbread Men Highlight Toll of Tobacco in Nevada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

2 December, 2011

LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District’s youth-led tobacco prevention movement called Evolvement and the UNLV School of Nursing’s Tobacco Free project will host a display to highlight the number of Nevadans who die each year from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. More than 3,000 gingerbread men will be on display at Pida Plaza on the UNLV campus between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Tuesday, December 6 to highlight tobacco’s toll on Nevada. For additional information regarding the display event, contact Malcolm Ahlo, with the health district’s tobacco control program at, (702) 460-2946.

Each of the 3,300 gingerbread men represents one Nevadan who died from smoking-related illnesses or exposure to secondhand smoke this year. These gingerbread men are a reminder that next year 3,300 Nevadans will die prematurely.

Currently, 82 percent of UNLV students do not smoke. The same percentage of students reported that they have been exposed to secondhand smoke while on campus. According to the UNLV Student Tobacco Use and Attitude Survey conducted this fall, 65.8 percent of UNLV students agree it is the institution’s responsibility to enact a policy that protects the campus community from secondhand smoke. Volunteers will be on-site at Pida Plaza collecting signatures in support of a tobacco-free campus policy protecting the students, staff and visitors from secondhand smoke. There are 252 tobacco-free and 586 smoke-free college and university campuses nationwide in the United States.

Tobacco-free policies have been shown to be effective in reducing overall rates of tobacco use and protect the health of the majority who choose not to use tobacco.

Additional information and tools to quit smoking are available on the www.GetHealthyClarkCounty.org website.

The Southern Nevada Health District received a two-year grant in March 2010 in the amount of $14.6 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative. As part of the CDC initiative, the health district awarded grant funding to the UNLV School of Nursing to work toward a tobacco-free campus policy at UNLV and at other Clark County college campuses.

Updated information about the Southern Nevada Health District can be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, on YouTube www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict or Twitter www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo The health district is now available in Spanish on Twitter www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. To follow the health district on Twitter, text 40404 to @SNHDinfo.

Visit the Media Contacts webpage for media related inquiries.

###

Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD.  Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.