The national report shows that smokers are smoking less but the CDC warned in the report that although some people who smoke every day are consuming fewer cigarettes, even occasional smoking causes harm. The best option for any smoker is to quit completely.
Fortunately for Hoosier smokers, there has never been a better time to quit, according to Karla Sneegas, Assistant Commissioner of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation and the Indiana State Department of Health.
“The sooner you quit the quicker your body can start to heal,” said Sneegas. “Cutting back on smoking can be a step to quitting smoking for life, but to reduce the risks for a heart attack, asthma attack, cancer, or other smoking-related diseases you need to quit for good.”
The 2011 Quit Now Indiana Contest is a statewide contest designed to encourage Hoosiers do just that—quit for life. As an extra incentive to the benefits of better health, the contest offers participants a chance to win cash prizes up to $2,500 for remaining tobacco-free during the month of October.
The “Vital Signs” report comes on the heels of new Indiana smoking data released by the State Health Department in August. State health officials reported that the smoking rate for Hoosier adults dropped significantly from 27.4 percent in 2001 to a new historic low of 21.2 percent in 2010. The Indiana data is collected as part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a state-based system of health surveys that collects information on health risk behaviors, preventative health practices and health care access primarily related to chronic disease and injury.
In Indiana nearly 10,000 Hoosiers die each year from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. Additionally, for every one smoking-related death, another 20 Hoosiers live with a smoking-related disease.
To learn more about the Quit Now Indiana Contest and other smoking cessation resources available, please visit the www.QuitNowIndiana.com. Employers interested in participating in the Preferred Employer Network can request contest materials at www.QuitNowIndiana.com or for additional information, call (317) 234-1787.
Contest rules are posted on the Quit Now Indiana website. To be eligible to win, contestants must be 18 years or older, a legal resident of Indiana, a current tobacco user and stay tobacco free from October 1 through October 31, 2011. The registration period lasts through September 30, 2011, (all entries must be received by midnight on September 30, 2011). Contest winners will be drawn at random and will be tested to make sure they are tobacco-free to be eligible to claim a prize(s).