A perfect day to kick butts

There’s many good reasons for Delta County residents to quit smoking. Today brings one more reason – March 19 is National Kick Butts Day. It’s a days set aside to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking for youth and others and serves as a good starting point for smokers who want to quit.

In Delta County, Public Health, Delta & Menominee Counties is part of the National Kick Butts Day Initiative.

There are over 15,200 new youth smokers each year in Michigan, and nearly 300,000 kids alive in Michigan today will eventually die from a tobacco-related disease. In 2011 the tobacco industry spent over $275 million to market their products in Michigan. In comparison, Michigan spends only $1.5 million on tobacco prevention programming annually.

The good news is that there are a number of evidence-based programs and policy changes, which are being implemented by local communities and the state tobacco program, that can help us reduce smoking rates, according to Shanna Hammond, the tobacco coordinator for PHDM. 24/7 tobacco-free schools, tobacco-free outdoor recreation areas, smoke-free multi-unit housing, and increasing access to tobacco dependence treatment options are all effective in reducing youth and adult tobacco use rates.

Hammond says in addition to the tobacco prevention work taking place in communities around the state, there are evidence based policy changes at the state level that would drastically reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco use in Michigan. Increasing the price of cigarettes and other tobacco products is the single most effective way to reduce youth and adult tobacco use rates, especially when a portion of the revenue generated is dedicated to tobacco prevention programming. In addition, Michigan should be spending a portion of the Master Settlement Agreement funds on tobacco prevention programming.”

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in Michigan, killing more than 14,500 people each year. In all, 23.3 percent of Michigan adults, and 14 percent of Michigan youth smoke cigarettes. Tobacco use costs the state $3.4 billion in health care costs annually.

For more information about tobacco prevention in the community contact Hammond at (906) 789-8112. For help in quitting tobacco use, talk with your doctor or contact the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-784-8669.