DEARBORN, Mich. — Each year, Americans jubilantly celebrate the Fourth of July to commemorate our country’s hard won independence. In honor of this joyous holiday, ACCESS encourages tobacco users to declare their independence from tobacco and begin a tobacco-free life.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Michigan, killing more than 16,200 Michigan residents annually. Each year, 10,300 Michigan youth become new regular, daily smokers, and more than one-third of these children will die prematurely as a result.
Nearly nine out of 10 smokers began smoking before age 18. Young people are particularly sensitive to nicotine and can feel dependent earlier than adults. Because of nicotine addiction, about three out of four teen smokers end up smoking into adulthood, even if they intend to quit after a few years.
“Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, and the current design of cigarettes makes them more harmful than ever,” said ACCESS Health Educator Oumkilthoum Nasser.
There are also a variety of other harmful tobacco products, including new trends like snus and orbs, which are flavored and packaged to appeal to young people.
“However, the good news is that there are resources available to help tobacco users quit and begin a life independent from tobacco and nicotine addiction,” Nasser said.
The health risks of tobacco use include premature death, heart disease, stroke, cancer and respiratory disease. However, there are instant benefits upon quitting, regardless of when an individual began using tobacco. Immediately after quitting, heart rate and blood pressure improve and further benefits include improved circulation and lung function, and decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers free help for tobacco users to quit. Callers can receive information and referrals and support through text messaging and online coaching. If qualified, callers can enroll in a free telephone coaching program and even receive nicotine replacement medications to assist them in quitting. For help, or to talk with a health care provider, call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669), or enroll online at https://michigan.quitlogix.org.
For more information, contact ACCESS Public Health Coordinator Corey Beckwith at 313-218-2208.
Grounded in a grassroots commitment to serving our community, ACCESS has a 44-year history of providing health, education, employment and social services. An Arab American nonprofit of excellence, ACCESS empowers residents of metro Detroit to lead healthy, informed and productive lives and extends this mission nationally through advocacy, arts, culture and philanthropy.