Why is this important?
While smoking rates are declining nationally, the health effects of smoking remain a pressing issue to address. Every day, roughly 1,300 Americans die from smoking-related illnesses; that’s 480,000 a year. This isn’t just a national problem — the health effects of tobacco smoke disproportionately affect Western Pennsylvanians.
Quitting smoking can improve substance use recovery. Pennsylvania’s Statewide Tobacco-Free Recovery Initiative shares tobacco use can be fundamental to drug and alcohol use rituals and is associated with increased symptoms of mental illness. When in recovery from substance use disorder, learning tobacco-free coping skills can increase quality of life, and improve mental health.
Every year the World Health Organization has World No Tobacco Day and highlights different topics. World No Tobacco Day: Protect Our Health focused on ways to reduce the effects of tobacco on young people. According to the CDC, in the United States most adults who regularly use tobacco products started before the age of 18. In addition, the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe for young people.
Get Help Quitting!
There are a lot of resources to help you quit smoking today. Here are just a few:
- A great place to start is the Pennsylvania Department of Health, where you can find free programs and resources to help you on your quitting journey.
- Talk to your healthcare professional; ask how they can help you quit.
- Find a local class — there are many different classes in Allegheny County. Check out Tobacco Free Adagio
- Allegheny County’s Office of Family and Child Health provides smoking cessation classes for those who are pregnant or have small children in the home.