December 30, 2011

News Release

For Immediate Release

Tips, Resources for Ending Tobacco Use

As the new year approaches, many of us are thinking about charting a healthier course for our lives in 2012 and beyond. A truly healthy lifestyle doesn’t turn on just one decision or action. The types of food we eat, the amount exercise we get and our mental well-being all play a part.

However, one choice can in fact make a significant impact. Quitting tobacco use is one of those choices. Especially at this time of year, smokers and smokeless tobacco users are thinking about quitting the habit. If you are a tobacco user, quitting is likely the single most important step you can take to positively impact your health. Quitting can add years to your life and will boost your quality of life during those years.

Quitting isn’t easy. Tobacco users should remember that there are many ways to approach quitting, and each person needs to find the best route for them. Here are a few general tips and resources from the Health Department and the American Lung Association for those looking to break the habit.

This year Springfield took a step forward in smoking prevention as voters passed a comprehensive indoor smoking ban in April. Springfield joined other Missouri cities such as Jefferson City, Columbia, Kansas City, and St. Louis in instituting a comprehensive smoking ban. Environmental factors such as this can help those who want to quit or who have considered doing so.

Missouri’s smoking and tobacco use rates are among the highest in the nation. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the adult statewide smoking rate in 2010 was approximately 21 percent – or about one out of every five people. That puts Missouri in 11th place out of 50 states. The smoking rate among high school students is about 18 percent, and when smokeless tobacco use is included, the use rate among Missouri kids jumps to about 27 percent.

For more information, contact: Mike Brothers, Public Information Administrator, (417) 874-1205.

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