May 27, 2005
[Atlanta] (GA) – The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) is urging Georgia residents to celebrate World No Tobacco Day, because a day without smoke becomes a day with clean air. On May 31, the World Health Organization is holding the 17th annual World No Tobacco Day, the only event observed on a global scale to reduce tobacco-dependence. This year’s theme, “Secondhand Smoke Kills – Let’s Clear the Air,” encourages people to kick the habit and save the health of non-smokers.
The World Health Organization is the United Nations’ specialized agency for health and strives for the attainment of the highest possible level of health for all people physically, mentally and socially. World No Tobacco Day activities vary from country to country. Locally, DHR is encouraging residents to call the toll-free Georgia Tobacco Quit Line at 1-877-270-STOP/1-877-2NO-FUME to stop tobacco use on World No Tobacco Day.
“World No Tobacco Day provides a chance for all Georgians to kick their tobacco habit and start on a path toward healthy living,” said Kenneth Ray, DHR Tobacco Use Prevention Program manager. “We are encouraging Georgians to recognize this Day and use the Quit Line to help them or loved ones quit tobacco for good.”
The Georgia Tobacco Quit Line is available to anyone in Georgia 13 years of age or older. Trained counselors staff the Quit Line and offer individual programs tailored to the callers needs. Counseling programs range from moderate (2 calls) to a more intensive program consisting of 4 follow-up counseling sessions. Written self-help materials are mailed to callers.
Callers may also be referred to resources in their local area. The Quit Line is open from 8 a.m. to midnight (EST) daily.
Tobacco places a considerable burden on Georgia and the world each year. Every year, 11,000 Georgians die from tobacco related illnesses. While thousands die here in Georgia, 3.5 million people die around the world annually from tobacco use. By the year 2020, tobacco will be the leading cause of death and disability in the world.
Adult smokers account for $1.8 billion in annual healthcare costs to the state of Georgia and over $200 million worldwide. Additionally, $2.9 billion dollars in productivity costs are lost due to employees that smoke, and $9 million in infant healthcare costs are attributed to smoking.
Live Healthy Georgia! Being smoke-free is part of a statewide campaign urging Georgians to live healthy by also eating healthy, being active, getting checked and being positive. For more information on TUPP, visit www.health.ga.us or to learn more about the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line, call 1-877-270-STOP/1-877-2NO-FUME. Visit www.wntd.com for World No Tobacco Day information.
For media interviews or public presentations on DHR’s Tobacco Use Prevention services, call 404-657-6313.
For information, contact: