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Department of Health and Human Services Releases Tobacco Data Report for National Stroke Awareness Day
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Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
Publish Date:
October 28, 2015

Concord, NH – The NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released a new report, Tobacco Use in New Hampshire: Prevalence, Health Consequences, and Strategies to Reduce Use, 2015 Report, which presents data and trends on tobacco use among youth and adults in New Hampshire over the past 20 years. It also highlights mortality from smoking-related diseases, evidence-based strategies for reducing tobacco use, and the status of these strategies in New Hampshire.

The DHHS is releasing the report on October 28th, National Stroke Awareness Day, to highlight the connection between smoking tobacco products and stroke. A stroke is a sudden death of brain cells caused by blood clots or bleeding. Smoking is one cause of dangerous plaque buildup inside of arteries; plaque can rupture and cause clots and block arteries.

"About 10% of strokes are caused by smoking," said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of Public Health at DHHS. "Even breathing secondhand smoke can cause clots in non-smokers. However, two to five years after quitting smoking, a person's risk of a stroke could fall to about the same as a nonsmoker's. The Department supports every attempt to quit tobacco use and offers assistance in the form of the NH Tobacco Helpline."

Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in both the United States and in New Hampshire. It is also a leading cause of serious long-term disability. In New Hampshire, 437 people died of stroke in 2013. There are things that one can do to help lower their risk of having a stroke. These include: eating a healthy diet that is low in fat and salt and high in fruits and vegetables; maintaining a healthy weight; quitting tobacco and limiting alcohol; and having one's blood pressure and cholesterol checked.

It is important to know the warning signs of stroke and the need to call 911 if one thinks they or someone they know is having a stroke. Getting immediate treatment can help prevent death and reduce disability. The American Stroke Association uses the Acronym "F.A.S.T" to teach the stroke warning signs in an easy way. Learn the F.A.S.T. acronym (FACE drooping, ARM weakness, SPEECH difficulty, TIME to call 911), and share this information with others you know. A free App for "F.A.S.T" is available for download at the App Store or Google Play. If you are unsure if you or someone else is having a stroke, you should ALWAYS call 911.

The tobacco report details the addiction cycle of nicotine, tobacco use's impact on public health, and strategies to prevent and reduce tobacco use in New Hampshire. The report is available at: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/tobacco/documents/nh-tobacco-report-2015.pdf Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol. For more information about heart disease and stroke, see the New Hampshire Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Action Plan 2015-2020 at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdpc/hdsp/documents/hdsp-action-plan.pdf Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol.

DHHS currently offers free help quitting tobacco use through 1-800-QUIT-NOW (www.TryToStopNH.org).

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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