Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Health Division, under the leadership of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, joins the American Cancer Society in celebrating the Great American Smokeout Thursday, Nov. 21. The Smokeout encourages people to quit smoking for a day, a step in quitting completely.
"The Smokeout is a great day for people to set a quit date, and to link to resources that are available to help people quit using tobacco," said Kathy Forzley, Health Division manager/health officer. "Tobacco use continues to be the single most preventable cause of death globally."
About 16 percent of adults in Oakland County smoke, down from 18 percent in 2010. The adult rate for the State of Michigan is over 20 percent. According to the Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth survey, 10.4 percent of youth (7th and 9th graders) have smoked in the past 30 days. Nationwide, over 18 percent of youth have smoked in the past 30 days.
The Health Division organizes the Tobacco Free Oakland Coalition (TFOC). The coalition's mission is to promote education, coordination, and advocacy aimed at preventing tobacco use among Oakland County residents, particularly youth. TFOC's recent efforts have included creating awareness for parents about emerging tobacco products (dissolvable, smokeless, and flavored tobacco, including hookah) and assisting schools to create comprehensive tobacco free school policies.
The Michigan Department of Community Health Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, provides free telephone coaching and nicotine replacement therapy for the uninsured and those with Medicaid and Medicare. During the first call, a trained coach will talk to the individual about what he or she needs to help quit. Self-help materials, a list of quit smoking programs in the area, or a telephone-coaching program, text-messaging program or an online program are all available. Once registered, the individual works with the quit coach to create a quit plan that is best for him or her. Special services and information are available for pregnant woman, spit-tobacco use, non-English speaking callers, and persons with hearing impairments.
For more information regarding tobacco cessation and prevention, call Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 or visit oakgov.com/health. There also is up-to-date public health information on Facebook and Twitter @publichealthOC.
About Tobacco Free Oakland Coalition
The Tobacco Free Oakland Coalition (TFOC) is a group comprised of individuals and organizations committed to supporting policies and activities that promote a community free of the harmful effects of tobacco use. Members of TFOC include public health professionals, physicians, community coalition members, concerned citizens, and members of non-profit health organizations. For more information about TFOC, contact Melanie Stone, OCHD Public Health Educator, at 248-858-8745 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For media inquiries only, contact Kathy Forzley, Health Officer/Manager of the Oakland County Health Division, at 248-858-1410.