New website helps smokers quit
Tobacco users have one more tool to work with if they want to quit.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment launched a new website crammed with resources, facts and tips to help people quit smoking: tobaccofreeco.org.
The best way to curb tobacco use in society is not to start using it in the first place, according to Dr. Leonard Lapkin of St. Mary’s Hospital, who spoke at a news conference Thursday in Grand Junction.
“You can’t do it alone,” he said of people who want to stop using tobacco. “You have to have help. You have to have a plan.”
Lapkin, a thoracic and cardiac surgeon, said smoking affects everyone, whether someone is exposed to second-hand smoke or pays more money into the health care system.
Every year, 400,000 Americans die of tobacco-related deaths, a number higher than the combination of annual deaths from alcohol, AIDS, motor vehicle crashes, accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides, according to the website.
Campaign organizers displayed an interactive LED screen for a few hours on Main Street.
Lapkin said it’s unfortunate that tobacco companies target young people. An estimated 4,900 children under 18 become smokers each year in Colorado.
Of those youth who try smoking, an estimated three out of four high school smokers continue as adults.
The website offers tobacco users help to quit, including a free texting application, called Colorado Quit Mobile: at coquit mobile.org.
The campaign launches as a recently released community health study estimated that more than 25 percent of Mesa County adults smoke cigarettes, compared to an estimated Colorado rate of 18.3 percent in 2011. The Mesa County Health Department, which commissioned the study, acknowledged that data was slightly skewed high based on inconsistent collection methods, but the county’s rate is still far above a federal initiative’s target rate of 12 percent.