Genesee County Health Department to Recognize World NO Tobacco D - WNEM TV 5

Genesee County Health Department to Recognize World NO Tobacco Day

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Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death, and tobacco use contributes to one in three deaths related to cardiovascular disease.

The Genesee County Health Department announced Thursday it is joining the World Health Organization on May 31 in recognizing World No Tobacco Day.

The theme for this year’s awareness campaign is “Tobacco and Heart Disease.”

“It’s critical that Michigan invest in sustained tobacco prevention and control programming," said John McKellar, health officer at the Genesee County Health Department

He said 95 percent of adult smokers picked up the habit before the age of 21. He is calling on the state to protect children from addiction to tobacco products.

Currently, Michigan spends $1.63 million on tobacco prevention programs, which is tens of millions short of the Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation of $110 million.

Healthcare costs for tobacco related illness costs nearly $4.6 billion and is surpassed by the $295 million spent by tobacco companies to lure customers.

Preventing young people from starting to use tobacco products and helping people to quit will help reduce the cost of treating illness related to the addiction, McKeller said.

In joining the awareness campaign the health department hopes to make sure smokers aware of cessation resources like the Michigan Tobacco Quitline, which can be accessed by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).

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