Have you heard of "Tips from Former Smokers" (Tips) before? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched their first-ever paid national tobacco education campaign in March of 2012; new advertisements were released in April of this year and a third set of advertisements are scheduled to be released in 2014. This campaign featured emotionally powerful stories of former smokers who are now living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities. People who smoke and were thinking of quitting were encouraged to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or to visit a quit-assistance website.
According to the CDC, "Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and kills about 443,000 Americans each year."
Sometimes it's hard to understand how national numbers relate to our community. Here in Missouri, we have one of the highest percentages of people who currently smoke. According to the 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey results, nearly 24% of Missouri adults are current smokers. And, according to the 2009 BRFSS, 34% of adult Missourians who smoke have arthritis. The number of Missourians who smoke is of concern because smoking is a risk factor for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
You can find more information on smoking and tobacco use in Missouri here. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) offers specific information on the Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) and resources for smokers. Check these out today!