For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021
Reno, NV - Each year the American Cancer Society designates the third Thursday in November as the Great American Smokeout, to encourage those that smoke to give up smoking. Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village and Western Nevada College Campuses throughout northern Nevada are a few of many campuses across the country adopting a tobacco-free policy for one day in coordination with the Great American Smokeout and the “1Day Stand” campaign on November 19, 2015. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke and help tobacco users to quit.
“Quitting tobacco is hard,” says Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. “The Great American Smokeout is a great opportunity for those who smoke or use tobacco to give it up for a day and take advantage of resources that can increase their chances of quitting long term. Studies show that 99 percent of all regular tobacco users start by the age of 26. Including our college campuses in Great American Smokeout activities is important in encouraging life-long healthy habits and ensuring a safe and healthy environment for everyone in our county,” Dick added.
There is increasing support for tobacco-free campuses and environments, as seen at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) whose tobacco-free campus went into effect on August 1, 2015. UNR had formal support for their initiative from the Associated Students of the University of Nevada, the Graduate Student Association, the Faculty Senate, and the Staff Employee Council. A study conducted at UNR in 2014 showed that over three-quarters of students as well as two-thirds of staff were supportive of a tobacco-free UNR campus.
Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, with secondhand smoke being responsible for an estimated 49,400 heart and lung cancer deaths annually. “Students understand the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, but quitting tobacco is difficult,” said Lisa Sheretz with the American Heart Association. “A tobacco-free campus and the resources available when a campus goes tobacco-free can be the encouragements that enable students to kick the habit for good.”
To date, approximately 1,620 campuses nationwide have a smoke- or tobacco-free policy in place. This is in sharp contrast to 420 campuses in 2010. “Creating smoke-free environments are an effective way to reduce tobacco use by preventing initiation and making it easier for smokers to quit,” said Sandy Wartgow, with Carson City Health and Human Services. “Smoke free environments have also been shown to decrease smoking rates and positive attitudes toward tobacco use.”
If you or a loved one uses tobacco let them know that November 19 is the Great American Smokeout. By quitting, even for one day, those that use tobacco will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing risk for cancer and many other illnesses.
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