January 17, 2014
Concord, NH – In celebration of the fifty year anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report (SGR) on smoking and health, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is offering free nicotine replacement therapy, in the form of the patch, to New Hampshire residents who want to quit smoking or chewing tobacco. DPHS and the NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration will also be partnering to extend the hard-hitting media campaign, Dear Me New Hampshire, currently on the air and featuring real New Hampshire residents who are trying to quit. The original 1964 SGR was the first to definitively link smoking with lung cancer and heart disease. Since then we have learned much about the effects of tobacco on people’s health.
"Across the U.S. and here in New Hampshire we have made great progress in reducing smoking rates and therefore smoking-related illness and death, but we still have a long way to go," said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. "Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, but quitting has immediate and long-lasting effects. If you use tobacco, it’s not too late to quit."
Since 1964, smoking prevalence among U.S. adults has been reduced by half. In New Hampshire, adult smoking prevalence is now 17.2% (NH 2012 BRFSS); youth cigarette use has declined by over half and is currently at 13.8% (NH 2013 YRBS). Unfortunately, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States and New Hampshire. Today the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress was released. The report highlights 50 years of progress in tobacco control and prevention, presents new data on the health consequences of tobacco use, and details initiatives that can end the tobacco use epidemic in the U.S.
For more information about the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services or the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program visit www.dhhs.nh.gov. For information about the NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration visit www.nhcancerplan.org. To request free nicotine replacement patches and get confidential help quitting tobacco call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.