WILLARD Mercy Hospital of Willard and The American Cancer Society will celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Great American Smokeout on Thursday.
With exactly half of the United States now protected by smoke-free laws, and a variety of cessation resources available, there has never been a better time to quit smoking and enjoy the health benefits. Mercy Willard will have a display table set up at the main entrance with support materials and information about tobacco cessation programs for anyone interested in going tobacco free today.
Tobacco is currently the second major cause of death in the world. It is responsible for the death of one in ten adults worldwide (about 5 million deaths each year). If current smoking patterns continue, it will cause some 10 million deaths each year by 2020. Half of the people that smoke today that is about 650 million people will eventually be killed by tobacco.
Smoking is a major risk factor in the development of several major health issues coronary heart disease and stroke, as well as pneumonia. About 8 million people in the United States have at least one serious illness caused by smoking. That also means that for every person who dies of a smoking related disease, there are 20 more people who suffer from at least one serious illness associated with smoking.
According to the American Lung Association, smoking costs the United States more than $167 billion each year in health-care costs including $92 billion in mortality-related productivity loses and $75 billion in direct medical expenditures or an average of $3,702 per smoker.
The Ohio Smoke Free Workplace Act became state law on Dec. 7, 2006.
At that time, Mercy Willard extended the smoke free policy by prohibiting smoking directly outside the facility entrances. Patients and visitors are currently directed to designated smoking areas located away from the entrances. When Mercy Willard becomes a tobacco free campus on Jan. 1, 2008, smoking areas will no longer be available, including in private vehicles parked on hospital parking lots.
Quitting tobacco use at any age can help improve your health. Health officials urge smokers to consider stopping their use of tobacco today. For information about quitting tobacco use, call Jane Laughbaum at (419) 964-5900.