Since 2002, the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition of LaPorte County has overseen the distribution of nearly $2 million in Master Tobacco Settlement funds coming into LaPorte County. Under this grant, Healthy Communities has collaborated with several local organizations on innovative prevention and cessation projects throughout the county.
Healthy Communities of LaPorte County’s Tobacco Prevention Coalitions strive to improve the quality of life in LaPorte and Pulaski County by measurably reducing tobacco usage.
Our focus is on our youth prevention work through our VOICE student advocacy effort group in the Michigan City Area Schools. Emphasis is being placed on creating a “network of cessation” to encourage all smokers to quit smoking. In 2002 when the program began, the current county smoking rate was 30.7%. Healthy Communities has been an integral part of reducing that number to its current rate of 29%.
There is still a great deal of work to be done. The coalition continues to support efforts to help residents quit smoking and preventing residents from becoming smokers.
HCLC is proud to offer assistance to those who want to quit smoking. The Master Settlement Funds and revenue from the state cigarette tax are currently being used to ensure trained counseling support, and nicotine replacement products are available to individuals who want to quit smoking. The Indiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) is a free phone-based counseling service helping Hoosier smokers quit. Individuals receive four support calls. Pregnant women trying to quit are encouraged with 10 support calls, continuing even after they give birth. Individuals can also receive a free two week supply of nicotine replacement patches or nicotine gum. HCLC is also proud to assist local businesses and organizations in developing a smoke-free policy for the workplace.
Indiana employers spend more per worker on health care compared to other states. Smoke-free businesses help protect employees from secondhand smoke. Often, smoke-free air policies at work encourage employees who smoke to consider quitting. Contact Healthy Air: Smoke Free La Porte County or visit http://www.quitnowindiana.com/Employers.html for more information
There isn’t a safe level of secondhand smoke exposure and secondhand smoke can enter neighboring apartments triggering asthma attacks and other health issues.
We can assist property owners in adopting smoke free policies.
For more information on smoke free multiunit housing, contact us or visit http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/tobacco/smokefree-environments/multi-unit-housing/
Smoke Free Air July 1, 2012, Indiana passed a smoke-free air law. That means more Hoosiers are protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Unfortunately, all workers are not protected from secondhand smoke in the workplace. Bars, taverns, night clubs, casinos, private clubs (Ex. fraternal and veterans’ organizations), and retail tobacco shop are excluded from the law. A local ordinance could be passed in La Porte County protecting workers According to the American Journal of Public Health, “Regional studies have suggested that the implementation of clean indoor air and tobacco control policies is not evenly distributed across the United States; communities with high education and income are more likely to adopt 100% smoke-free laws than communities with lower education and income; disparities also exist by race/ethnicity.”
Read the full study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3698815/
Citation: Am J Public Health. 2013 May; 103(5): e62–e66.
Published online 2013 May. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301045
This means we are not protecting the most vulnerable La Porte County citizens. Many of our establishment not covered by the state law, employ workers with limited means of securing a new job. Employment may depend on bus routes, hours, and benefits; making it almost impossible for workers to choose their health over their paycheck.
The U.S. Surgeon General released a report in 2016 concluding that e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless, and can contain harmful chemicals, including carcinogens, and extremely addictive levels of nicotine.
How does COVID-19 affect people who use tobacco products? Researchers and medical professionals are saying it is reasonable to assume that smoking, and possibly vaping, could increase the risk of developing serious adverse effects from the COVID-19.
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