The Health District promotes its cessation resources
in support of the Great American Smokeout
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 13, 2018
LAS VEGAS – On Thursday, Nov. 15 many smokers will pledge to go smoke-free, even if it’s just for one day. The Great American Smokeout has provided an opportunity for smokers to commit to leading healthier lives for more than 40 years, and the Southern Nevada Health District has cessation resources, tools, and information to support them in their journey. The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity for smokers to kick the habit for at least one day with the hope that it could lead to a permanent change. The Health District encourages tobacco users to take up the one-day challenge that can lead to a long-term plan to quit for good. The Health District’s GetHealthyClarkCounty.org website has cessation resources as well as information about tobacco products, smoke-free living, and smoke-free meeting spaces.
Nationally, cigarette smoking rates have declined significantly since 1965 when it was 42 percent to less than 14 percent in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Clark County, 15.6 percent of adults smoke cigarettes. The CDC estimates that if the smoking rate among youth continues, approximately 5.6 million Americans under the age of 18 today will die early from a smoking-related illness. Use of alternative tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, continues to increase among young people with an estimated 13 percent of Clark County high school students reporting that they used e-cigarettes in a 30-day period in 2017. According to the CDC, scientists are still learning about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes. The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful substances.
State residents can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) from a Nevada area code to access a free, phone-based service for anyone age 13 or older. Callers will speak with a ‘coach’ who can offer quitting assistance in any language. The Quitline is available Monday – Sunday, 4 a.m. – 10 p.m. (PT). Through the Quitline program, people may be eligible to receive a free supply of nicotine replacement patches, gum, or lozenges. Coaches will determine eligibility to receive the free therapy. In addition, Quitline coaches can provide information about dealing with stress and fighting cravings, as well as coping with weight gain and other issues that occur when people attempt to quit smoking.
Former smokers reap health benefits almost immediately. Just 20 minutes after putting out a final cigarette, the heart rate drops to a normal level. In three months, the risk of a heart attack drops; in one year, the added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s; in five to 15 years, the risk of a stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s; and 15 years after quitting, the risk of dying from lung cancer or bladder cancer is reduced to half of a smoker’s risk, and the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker’s.
While many Americans are choosing to use alternative tobacco products to assist them to quit smoking, it is important to note that many of these products, such as e-cigarettes, have not been approved by the FDA as smoking cessation tools. E-cigarettes also contain toxins and cancer-causing chemicals themselves.
The most effective way to quit smoking is to make a plan and get assistance to develop a strategy. Quitting tips include identifying triggers and habits, such as an ‘after dinner’ cigarette, driving, or consuming alcohol or coffee. The American Cancer Society offers several tips to assist:
- Spend time in places where smoking is prohibited, especially the first few days after quitting
- Drink large quantities of water and fruit juice
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, and other beverages associated with smoking
- Eat several small meals to maintain blood sugar levels, avoid sugary or spicy foods that trigger a desire for cigarettes
- Take deep rhythmic breaths to relax
- Join a support group
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.