Pima County partners with business to reduce tobacco useby Pima County News on Feb. 15, 2013, under Health, Pima County, Southern Arizona, Tucson
In honor of American Heart Month, the Pima County Health Department would like to remind 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 community events;
- 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