According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, tobacco use is responsible for about one in five deaths annually (i.e., about 443,000 deaths per year, and an estimated 49,000 of these tobacco-related deaths are the result of secondhand smoke exposure).
In Idaho, 16.9% of the adult population (aged 18+ years)—over 187,000 individuals—are current cigarette smokers. Across all states, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults ranges from 9.3% to 26.5%. Idaho ranks 15th among the states.
South Central Public Health District, in partnership with Idaho's Project Filter, is working towards reducing the number of tobacco-related deaths in Idaho through three main tobacco prevention and control goals:
Prevent initiation of tobacco use among youth
Promote tobacco cessation among adults and youth
Eliminate exposure to environmental tobacco smoke
These goals are met by developing counter-marketing strategies, school and youth-based programs, and policy change.
Reducing Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
Tobacco/Smoke-Free Policy Work
South Central Public Health District will be actively helping communities in south central Idaho with tobacco/smoke-free policies in any of the following venues: ski hills, businesses, bars, restaurants, hair salons, grocery stores, multi-unit housing complexes and/or single-dwelling units. If you are interested in implementing a tobacco/smoke-free policy in any of the mentioned venues please call the Tobacco Prevention Coordinator at 208-678-8221.
To date venues in which tobacco/smoke-free policies have been implemented:
Chain of Grocery Stores
Tar Wars Is a school based program for 5th graders and is presented by health care providers in the community. Students participate in interactive activities designed to increase their knowledge of the short-term effects of tobacco use, identify reasons why people use tobacco products, and think critically about tobacco advertising. For more information or to become a Tar Wars presenter, call the Tobacco Prevention Coordinator at 208-737-5988.
National & Worldwide Tobacco Awareness Observances or Events
Kick Butts Day: sponsored by Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action against Big Tobacco. This event happens annually on the 4th Wednesday of March. For the next scheduled event go to www.kickbuttsday.org.
World No Tobacco Day: Each year the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce consumption. This event happens annually on the 31st of May. For more details on the next event go to www.who.int.
Great American Smokeout: this event is to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for one day. The Great American Smokeout remains a great opportunity to encourage people to commit to making a long-term plan to quit for good. This event happens on the third Thursday of November. For more information go to www.cancer.org.