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Annual ‘Great American Smokeout’ Held Nov. 15

November 13, 2012

Special to the Times-Record

Nov. 15 marks the 37th Annual Great American Smokeout ― a day when everyone is encouraged to lead tobacco-free lives to improve their overall health and quality of life.

“We’re serious about protecting the health of North Dakotans, and the Great American Smokeout is a great opportunity to advance the most-powerful disease-prevention strategies we know: smoke-free policies,” said Vicki Voldal Rosenau, tobacco prevention coordinator at City-County Health District (CCHD).

Strong smoke-free policies are proven to prevent illnesses known to be caused by smoking and secondhand smoke, said Voldal-Rosenau, “This deadly list includes COPD, stroke, heart disease, heart attacks and other serious health issues,” she added.

Every year in North Dakota, tobacco use kills over 800 people and costs us $247 million. That’s why CCHD and the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy (the Center) are focusing on proven tobacco prevention strategies, including smoke-free public places and tobacco-free schools.

Studies have shown that smoke- and tobacco-free policies have immediate health benefits for smokers and non-smokers alike. A recent study by the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences demonstrates a 30.6 percent decline in heart attacks in Grand Forks within four months of the city’s comprehensive smoke-free law taking effect.

“Smoke-free and tobacco-free policies are beneficial because they create a tobacco-free culture that prevents young people from ever starting to use tobacco,” said Jeanne Prom, executive director for the Center. “When we prevent people from starting to use tobacco, we save lives and reduce the taxpayer burden for treating tobacco-related diseases.”

Smoke-free policies are also proven to reduce the number of cigarettes tobacco users smoke and can help to encourage users to stop using tobacco.

To learn more about tobacco prevention, contact CCHD at 845-8518 or visit

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