Autumn brings spectacular color across the Truckee Meadows
Autumn brings spectacular color across the Truckee Meadows

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September 2007 | August 2007 | July 2007 | June 2007 | May 2007 | April 2007 | March 2007

January 10, 2008

December 27, 2007 - Quitting Tobacco... Hard, Yes. Impossible, No.

Thinking about quitting? Know this: there are more Nevadans who are "former smokers" than are smokers. There are more people out there who have made the decision to quit, and have successfully followed through with quitting than those who have been unsuccessful. It may not be easy, but it is possible. The best way to quit is to develop a plan. Understand why and when you smoke, what increases your desire to smoke, and how you are going to handle your cravings.

Ask for help. There are a number of methods that may be able to help you. There is a free telephone number with counselors on the other end, just to help people like you quit tobacco. (1-800-QUIT-NOW) Your doctor may have some ideas for medications that can assist you. And there is the support of those around you.

Take advantage of the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act that banned smoking in workplaces, restaurants, etc. Only go to locations where smoking is no longer allowed. Most quitters find that if they can't smoke, the temptation to smoke decreases. If your office or local restaurant still allows smoking, check out information about the law. You can find information for business owners as well as file a complaint with the health department.

And just remember, if at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Every quit attempt brings you one step closer to being successful and becoming a former smoker.

December 13, 2007

November 29, 2007 - Happy 1st Birthday Clean Air!

On December 8, 2006 smoking was finally banned in most indoor buildings in Nevada. One year later and things are going great. No one will ever again be subjected to secondhand smoke in line at the grocery store, while paying for gas, while enjoying a nice steak, or in an office building. Most importantly the next generation of Nevadans will not have the increased risk for all those nasty health problems that are caused by secondhand smoke.

Most businesses have adapted to the law with little issue. Of course there will be that owner who just refuses to change. When you come across an owner, or their business, which has yet to go smoke-free, let them know how you feel. Then contact the health department and file a complaint.

November 15, 2007 - Go cold turkey for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, spending time with family, and enjoying lots of food. It is also a great time to spend one-day tobacco free. You don't have to go cold turkey or to do it alone. Although that may work for many people it is not the only way to quit tobacco. If you are interested in quitting or getting information about quitting for someone you love, check out these programs in Washoe County to help you quit smoking. Don't forget to talk to your doctor about the different medications that can reduce withdrawal symptoms and increase your chance of success.

Also, in honor of the Great American Smokeout free quit kits are being offered; visit for your free kit.

November 1, 2007 - I only smoke when I drink.

It may not seem like a lot, but puffing while you party once or twice a week can indeed have negative effects on your health. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the British United Provident Association (an independent health care organization) both recently published studies about "casual smoking." Here are some of their findings:

  • People who smoke less than a pack a week seem to have just as much blood vessel damage as those who smoke a pack each day or more. Smoking interferes with the lining of blood vessels and can cause atherosclerosis, a condition in which fat and cholesterol build up on the walls of arteries. Atherosclerosis interferes with healthy circulation and can lead to a heart attack.
  • Men who smoke between six and nine cigarettes each day and women who smoke between three and five double their risk of heart attack. Smoking interferes with estrogen - an important female hormone that helps regulate cholesterol and maintain a healthy circulatory system - so the risk for women is higher.
  • Women who smoke and take birth control pills are at a higher risk for serious health problems. Even smoking a few cigarettes a week can increase the likelihood of heart disease, blood clots, stroke, liver cancer, and gallbladder disease.

When it comes to smoking and certain health risks, size doesn't seem to matter that much — even smokers who don't inhale or non-smokers who breathe in second-hand smoke place themselves at increased risk for negative health effects.

October 18. 2007 - Secondhand smoke causes breast cancer.

It is scary to think about but true. Women exposed to secondhand smoke have a 26%-90% higher risk of breast cancer, all dependent upon the level of exposure. The greater the exposure, the earlier the age of exposure, the higher the risks.

The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act was passed last year and has done wonders for protecting men, women and children from secondhand smoke. But there are still locations that permit smoking so:

if you are a woman, please avoid secondhand smoke,

if you are a man, please don't smoke around the women you love,

and, if you are interested in quitting or getting information about quitting for someone you love, check out these programs in Washoe County to help you quit smoking.

October 4, 2007 - Hookah is just as harmful as cigarettes.

"Yeah right, its smoother than cigarettes, its fruit flavored, and the water takes away all those pesky chemicals…. Right?"

That is a nice thought but very wrong. Hookah tobacco is very similar to the tobacco in cigarettes and smoke from the hookah has been found to contain significant amounts of nicotine, tar, and heavy metals. Smoking tobacco from a hookah/water pipes/narghile/shisha/or what ever else you want to call them has been linked to lung cancer, oral cancer, clogged arteries, and heart disease (to name a few).

In fact, hookah use may actually increase exposure to carcinogens because of the length of use (45 minutes - 1 hour) and the deep breaths inhaled by the user. Studies have found that a hookah smoker may inhale as much smoke as consuming 100 cigarettes during a single session. (Do you think that smoking 100 cigarettes is safe?) And that pesky thing called second hand smoke. Yep, smoke from others hookah use can get you too.

If you still think that you are invincible and you decide to smoke a Hookah, DO NOT SHARE THE MOUTHPIECE. This is a great way to get herpes, hepatitis, mononucleosis (mono), tuberculosis, and numerous other diseases. And be aware that hookah bars are not required to sterilize or replace mouthpieces after use. Yum.

Still don't believe us? Check out these other documents written by the American Lung Association, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Mayo Clinic.

September 20, 2007 - Smoking is the leading cause of fire related deaths in the home.

Smoking has been the leading cause of home fire deaths for decades.

Smoking accounts for only 4% of home fires but 24% of civilian deaths. 80% of these fires started on furniture, mattresses or bedding, or clothing.

The best way to avoid these deadly fires is to not allow smoking inside your home. Whether you are the smoker or if it is a loved one... Take it outside. Make it a policy in your home with no exceptions. Download a Smoke Free Home sign.

If you are interested in quitting please visit the list of programs in Washoe County to help you quit smoking. Your doctor may be able to provide additional assistance.

September 6, 2007 - Every household in Nevada spends $564 in taxes each year to pay for smoking related illnesses.

And $564 is just the beginning. It does not include the increase in costs for health insurance and the productivity losses caused by smoking (we're not talking about people taking smoking breaks or getting sick, we are talking about smokers not being able to work because they have died before non-smokers normally retire). This also doesn't include any costs associated with secondhand smoke exposure, smoking-caused fires, litter, spit tobacco use, or cigar and pipe smoking.

Here are the rest of the numbers for Nevada:

  • Productivity costs per pack (of cigarettes): $5.31
  • Medical Costs per pack: $3.61 (includes direct Medicaid costs per pack: $0.79)

For a total of $8.92 per pack.

Think tobacco taxes cover these costs? Think again. Nevada's tobacco tax is $0.80 per pack. Add on the federal tax of $0.39 per pack and we are still at an enormous loss.

Data from

August 23, 2007 - Secondhand smoke causes cancer in animals too.

So you can't quit for yourself but can you give it up knowing that you could be hurting Fido? Research has shown that smoking around cats, dogs, and other pets can cause negative health effects including cancer.


  • Breathing of secondhand smoke
  • Licking chemicals from secondhand smoke off of fur (primarily cats)
  • Ingestion of cigarette butts, cigars, or chewing tobacco
  • Drinking water that contains cigarette butts or cigars

Health Effects:

  • Breathing problems in dogs, asthmatic like symptoms in cats
  • Cardiac abnormalities
  • Respiratory difficulties and respiratory paralysis
  • Feline lymphoma in cats
  • Lung cancer in dogs
  • Nasal cancer in dogs
  • Salivation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting


  • If possible, quit using tobacco
  • If quitting is currently not possible, keep ashtrays clean, smoke outside, keep tobacco products out of reach of pets, and don't allow others to smoke around your pets.
  • When outside do not throw cigarettes on ground, extinguish them and then place in pocket or purse until a trash can is located. Other pet owners will thank you.

August 9, 2007 - Smoking in your car can reduce resale by almost $2,000.

You're in Reno, It's August, and you've got a hot car… You might want to re-think lighting up or even letting someone else smoke in your car.

The one place many smokers feel free and comfortable to light up is in their car. Even with consistent and thorough cleanings, however, a car that is smoked in will soon start to show some tell tale signs. The interior inevitably smells like smoke, and stray ashes and butts can burn holes in the upholstery and floor mats.

None of these things has much financial impact until you try to sell the car.

On a trade-in, dealers can easily knock off more than $2,000 on vehicles like vans, SUVs and sport-types. Don't believe it? Ask a non-smoker around you if they would pay asking price for a car that smelled like smoke. Some might not even buy it with a $2,000 discount.

What is the best way to get rid of the smell?
First of all, stop smoking in your car. That includes all passengers. Some steps to make this easier is:

  1. Remove the lighter
  2. Clean out the ashtray
  3. Remove cigarettes from the car (or store them in the trunk to remove temptation)

And finally, vacuum the entire interior and wash the inside of the windows. You would be surprised how much of the smell can come from smoke residue on the glass. You may want to pay a professional to do this. A thorough cleaning will not get rid of the smell completely, but it will make a significant difference and the longer you drive the car without adding any new smoke, the less likely you will be impacted when you go to resell it.

Information gathered from numerous locations including

July 26, 2007 - Cigarette production destroys 9 million acres of forest each year. So much for being environmentally friendly.

"Deforestation is the clearing of land by cutting or burning large areas of trees. Deforestation is a very serious world environmental problem. An area of forest equal to 20 football fields is lost every minute. An area of forest the size of Florida is destroyed every year. The loss of forests causes many environmental problems, such as soil erosion, flooding, global warming, and loss of habitat for many animals and plants. The growing of tobacco adds to the problem of deforestation. One in eight trees cut down in the world is due to tobacco growing or curing. Forests are cleared to grow tobacco. But, it is the cutting down of trees for fuel to dry tobacco that is a major cause of deforestation. In order to prepare tobacco for cigarettes and other products, it has to be dried by using heat. This drying process is called curing. Most of the tobacco grown in the world is cured by burning wood. For every 300 cigarettes manufactured, one tree is cut down for curing. As a result, almost nine million acres of forests are lost each year."

July 12, 2007 - Smoking causes impotence. What other reason do you need to quit? Smoking induced impotence doesn't just affect older men. Men as young as 30 can have performance issues due to smoking, and smoking during the teen years contributes to this problem. There is good news, though. Quitting can reverse most, if not all, of the negative health effects. For more information visit the websites listed below. Or, if you are thinking of quitting, or want to get information for someone you love, see the list of programs in Washoe County that can help you quit smoking.

Related links:

June 28, 2007 - Celebrate your own independence day. Quit. Feel like tobacco has a grip on you? Getting tired of having to step outside in the summer heat while your friends continue the party? Now may be your time to declare your independence from tobacco. To help you quit, we have compiled a complete list of resources in our community for quitting smoking.

June 14, 2007 - Cowboys are sexier without the chew. Leave it up to the tobacco industry to be able to convince us that having a big wad of chewing tobacco in your mouth is sexy and tough. Their marketing seems to have worked because we have associated spit tobacco with the physically demanding sport of rodeo. The tobacco industry has convinced us that it is acceptable, and even necessary, to use spit tobacco during a family sporting event, despite the fact that it causes cancer in those who use it. We are getting smarter and learning more about the tobacco industry. Read more to find out why spit tobacco is not a safer alternative to cigarettes and how the tobacco industry is trying to manipulate Northern Nevada.

May 31, 2007 - Salsa without the Smoke. Join us for Salsa Without the Smoke Friday, June 8, 2007, 11:00 a.m. at Cantina Los Tres Hombres to celebrate six months of clean air. Click here for more information: Salsa Without the Smoke

May 17, 2007 and December 13, 2007 - If at first you don't succeed quit, quit again. Quitting tobacco is a difficult but obtainable goal. If you have tried to quit in the past think of it as practice. It takes some people over 7 attempts to quit. Each quit attempt teaches you something more about why you smoke, where you smoke, and what your triggers are that make it difficult for you to quit. People quit in different ways, some use medications, some prefer the support of others, some are able to quit cold turkey, and others wean themselves more slowly. Find what works for you. See a complete list of resources in our community for quitting smoking.

May 3, 2007 - Cinco de Mayo seria major sin humo.

April 19, 2007 and January 10, 2008 - Fewer kids smoke in a community that is smoke free. Research has shown that youth that live in communities that ban smoking in restaurants are less likely to become smokers. The stronger the smoking ban and the longer it is in effect reduce youth smoking rates even further. Weaker bans, such as allowing smoking in separately ventilated areas, has no impact on youth smoking rates1. Congratulations Nevada, on helping to reduce our youth smoking rates!
1 (Effect of local restaurant smoking regulations on progression to established smoking among youth. Tobacco Control 2005; 14: 300-306).

April 5, 2007 - We all thank you...for taking it outside. We asked, and you responded. We know it isn't always convenient. It isn't always easy, but please know that it is always appreciated. Thank you for smoking outside. For information on the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, please visit the Smoking Ban Information page.

March 22, 2007 - Smoke Free Air = Fewer Heart Attacks, Fewer Strokes, Better Business