Feb 15, 2013 12:15 PM by Faye DeHoff
TUCSON - In honor of American Heart Month, the Pima County Health Department is reminding smokers that it's never too late to quit and there are resources to help.
Smoking doesn't just affect the lungs and breathing. Smoking is the single leading
preventable cause of heart disease in the country, since smoking reduces oxygen in the
blood, increases heart rate and elevates blood pressure. In fact, more deaths can be
traced to smoking-related heart disease than smoking-related cancer. The good news is people who quit smoking can see immediate health benefits.
Pima County is taking multiple approaches to helping smokers quit by:
·Partnering with the Arizona Smokers' Helpline, known as ASHLine, (1-800-55-66-
222) which offers free telephone counseling for any state resident, as well as
nicotine replacement therapy;
·Promoting tobacco cessation and providing education at health fairs and
·Working with local businesses and nonprofits to help them provide instant help for
employees who want to quit.
Pima County's Tobacco and Chronic Disease Prevention staff can show businesses and
nonprofits how to partner with the ASHLine directly.
"We can help work with businesses to make sure that when employees say they want to
quit, opportunities aren't lost," said Kristin Barney, a senior program manager for
Tobacco and Chronic Disease Prevention. "If you give just them information on how to
call, that gives them a chance to question later on whether they really want to get started. This gets them into the system right in that moment."
Barney said there's no cost for businesses and nonprofits to enroll and County staff will
come to them. "It's an hour well-spent, Barney said. "We all know that productive
workplaces rely on healthy employees," she said. "Healthier employees miss less work
and they tend to be more active and more engaged in the work that they're doing." In
addition, she noted, insurance companies are increasingly offering company discounts if
fewer employees smoke.
To help your employees get on the path to better health, visit Pima County at:
www.pimahealth.org/tobacco/ or call (520) 243-7904 to set up an appointment.
For more information about the Arizona Smokers' Helpline, please visit: www.ASHLine.org