The Healthiest 2017 Resolution: Quit Smoking
Ann Arbor Tobacco 21 Law takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.
Washtenaw County Public Health reminds residents that the start of a new year is a great time for anyone thinking about quitting smoking to set a date, get support and quit. This year is an especially important year to quit for many, as Ann Arbor will be the first city in Michigan to ban tobacco sales to individuals under 21 starting Jan. 1, 2017.
“This new law will save lives,” says Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, MD, MPH, medical director at Washtenaw County Public Health. “Tobacco kills more Michigan residents than AIDS, drug overdoses, alcohol, automobile accidents, suicides and homicides combined.”
Michigan Tobacco Quitline
A resolution to quit smoking is a fantastic first step. However, it won’t be enough, because quitting is difficult. That is why it’s vital to take advantage of available resources, like the Michigan Tobacco Quitline.
The Michigan Tobacco Quitline provides free telephone coaching for Michigan residents who are uninsured, pregnant, enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare, veterans, cancer patients or Native American. Free nicotine replacement therapy is available to those who qualify. The Michigan Quitline does not ask youth under 18 for insurance information, so all minors receive free telephone coaching.
Free materials, text messaging support, online resources and referrals to programs based on insurance coverage are also available to all Michiganders. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit https://michigan.quitlogix.org/.
Tobacco 21 Background
Increasing the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products from 18 to 21 will reduce youth and adult tobacco use rates, thereby decreasing future death and disability, as well as healthcare costs. Needham, Mass. was the first city to pass a Tobacco 21 policy in 2005 and saw the prevalence of youth smoking cut in half by 2010. The Ann Arbor law will hopefully serve as a precedent for other local jurisdictions and the state.
Statistics validate the necessity of the new law, which is part of a national Tobacco 21 movement. National data shows that 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21. Over 10,000 Michigan children become new regular, daily smokers each year – a third of whom will die from their addiction. The brains of people under 21 are still developing, making them more susceptible to the addictive properties of nicotine, and to smoking longer.
The Tobacco 21 law will not punish youth for tobacco possession or addiction. Instead, penalties will be given to retailers. Find more information about the new Ann Arbor law here.
Washtenaw County Public Health
Washtenaw County Public Health promotes health and works to prevent disease and injury in our community. Our mission is to assure, in partnership with the community, the conditions necessary for people to live healthy lives through prevention and protection programs.
Washtenaw County Public Health has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. Visit us at http://publichealth.ewashtenaw.org or call 734-544-6700.