Today’s Wednesday, but it’s not any ordinary Wednesday. Today’s “No Tobacco” Day and the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department wants to use this opportunity to inform you about how tobacco use is hurting not only your health, but also your finances.
Although tobacco use has been steadily declining since the early 2000’s, there are still an estimated 36.5 million people in the U.S. alone smoking cigarettes daily. For this reason, every year on May 31st, the World Health Organization (WHO) campaigns for a healthier and tobacco free world. On this day, tobacco users around the world are encouraged to stop their usage for a 24-hour period.
I’m sure you’ve all heard this a million times, but smoking is extremely detrimental to your health. In fact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that 16 million Americans are living with a disease that resulted from tobacco use. Reported diseases include: cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, immune system dysfunction, and chronic pulmonary disease (COPD). Life is hard enough without adding a bunch of diseases into the mix, and the best way to prevent yourself from contracting one of these diseases is to quit any tobacco use.
Your health isn’t the only thing being negatively affected by tobacco use. According to TheAwl.com, in West Virginia the average pack of cigarettes costs $5.43 including tax. That being said, if you smoke half a pack a day (10 cigarettes), you would be spending approximately $81.45 a month, or $977.40 a year. That’s almost a thousand dollars a year! I don’t know about you, but I would rather be $1000 richer than suffer from one of the many diseases you can get from use of tobacco.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that quitting tobacco use isn’t easy. Luckily, there are many free and readily available resources for West Virginia residents. The WV Tobacco Quitline is free for anyone in the state over the age of 18 who wishes to end or lessen their tobacco use. If eligible, you can receive up to 8 weeks worth of FREE services including: information on quitting tobacco, patches, gum, or lozenges, and individual phone coaching.
If you’re looking for something closer to home, you can stop by your local health department. We offer residents of Taylor and surrounding counties free kits containing educational materials about the dangers of smoking and rubbing tobacco and a pack of tobacco-less snuff. Stop by today, or call our Public Health Nurse Angela Flowers at 304-265-1288 for more information.
The Grafton-Taylor County Health Department is featured in the Mountain Statesman every Wednesday in the Editorial section.