San Andreas, CA– The Calaveras County Public Health Department is observing the Great American Smokeout this month by working with preschool children and current smokers.
County Health Officer Dean Kelaita says a story book was written by students at Bret Harte High School and the Public Health staff about secondhand smoke and cigarette litter. The book will be read and distributed at local preschools throughout November.
“The story encourages parents to ask smokers to keep smoke and butt litter out of children’s play areas in our local parks,” said Kelaita. “The story teaches young children that tobacco and butt litter are not good for them.”
To help smokers kick the habit, the Tobacco Prevention Program is offering a no-cost Quit Kit and referrals to the California Smoker’s Helpline. The Smoker’s Helpline, 1-800-NOBUTTS, offers free cessation counseling by telephone. For a limited time, the Helpline is also offering a two week nicotine patch starter kit that is available by mail to adults living in Calaveras County.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 443,000 deaths each year are attributed to smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. In Calaveras County, the adult smoking rate of 18% remains significantly higher than the California rate of 11%.