Policy, public awareness keys to reducing exposure to second-hand smoke; say area health officials

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Forty-eight percent of people living in poverty are exposed to second-hand smoke, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey. Half of all African American non-smokers are exposed to second-hand smoke.

There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke, but free resources and help are available for anyone who wants to quit smoking for good, the health district said.

People interested in quitting smoking can also call 1-800-QUIT-NOWW for free help.

Teenagers 17 and under can go to www.MYLIFEMYQUIT.com or text “Start My Quit” to 855-891-9989.

Mercy Health – Springfield is also offering a free six-week series of smoking cessation classes starting this month.

Classes are led by a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist/Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. Mercy Health offers nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine patches, gum and lozenges at no charge while supplies last. Mercy Health also provides carbon monoxide testing.

Classes are held Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mercy Health REACH Services — Springfield offices, located at 30 W. McCreight Ave., on the following dates:

  • 11 July
  • July 18
  • July 25
  • 1st of August
  • August 8
  • August 15th
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Groups develop a personalized quitting plan that addresses triggers and how to eliminate temptations, overcome obstacles, change negative habits, and develop new skills. Panel discussions cover addiction, brain chemistry, tobacco toxins, the consequences of smoking and how to prevent a relapse, according to a press release from Mercy Health.

Participants will also explore the signs of recovery and healing, as well as the physical benefits of quitting smoking. Other topics include weight management, healthy eating, exercise and whether a wellness/cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program can help improve participants’ quality of life. Each program also includes assistance with smokeless tobacco and vaping,

Six sessions covering different topics are offered. A free $10 gas card will also be offered to attendees for each session attended, according to the release.

To register or for more information, please contact Marcy Ivory of REACH at 937-390-5333.


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