Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more deaths are caused by tobacco use than by all deaths from illegal drug use, alcohol use, HIV, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined. According to the Surgeon General, nearly 9 out of 10 people who smoke start by age 18, and 99% start before the age of 26. Most recently, teen use of nicotine-delivering electronic smoking devices (ESDs) has increased dramatically. This April 2015, the CDC released data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey reporting that high school and middle school use of ESDs tripled from 2013 to 2014.
The new “Tobacco is Even Scarier” campaign is intended to discourage young people from starting tobacco and to help current tobacco users to get help with breaking free from nicotine addiction, including addiction caused by the use of ESDs. This summer, the campaign will feature digital and mobile advertisements in addition to movie theater public service announcements. View video here: https://youtu.be/OMVwB4MgLus. Area youth are actively working on reducing the toll of tobacco and nicotine addiction in their schools and communities. Jefferson County Breathe Easy (BE) Teams are youth clubs supported by their high schools and Jefferson County Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention Initiative. BE Teams educate community members about the problem of tobacco and advocate for sustainable solutions, including policy change.
· For more information about youth tobacco prevention, visit www.tobaccofreejeffco.com/youth-prevention/.
· To learn more about how youth can get involved in local efforts, visit www.JeffcoTobaccoFreeYouth.com.
· Youth can learn the facts about tobacco and make the decision early to live a tobacco-free life by visiting www.tobaccoisnasty.org.
· For help with quitting tobacco, consider some of the following resources:
o For telephone support, coaching and resources to help you or a loved one become tobacco-free; call the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). The QuitLine also offers web-based support at www.COQuitLine.org. This free service provides information and tools to develop your own personal plan for quitting.
o The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment offers www.TobaccoFreeCO.org, an online web hub that connects visitors to a variety of resources and topics including cessation services and information on preventing secondhand smoke exposure and youth tobacco use.
o COQuitMobile is a free text-based program that places you on the path to a life free from tobacco.
o Attend a free tobacco cessation group hosted by Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge on Tuesdays at 12:00 p.m. This is a six week drop-in group that provides adults who want to quit smoking with tools and support to achieve their goals (You do not need to attend all six weeks in order to participate).