Hamilton County Public Health is a leader in the fight against tobacco use and exposure in Hamilton County. The Division of Health Promotion and Education works with a variety of partners in the community to prevent tobacco use, help people quit, and protect people from secondhand smoke.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 Americans each year. In Ohio alone, tobacco use claims the lives of about 20,000 individuals each year – that’s 52 lives each day – and costs $3.4 billion annually in health care expenditures. Additionally, each Ohio household pays $602 in taxes to cover tobacco related illnesses.
In Ohio, more than 23.3 percent of residents, 21.1 percent of high school students, and 3.7 percent of middle school students, use tobacco products (Source: American Lung Association, State of Tobacco Control, 2014). Every day, thousands of children try their first cigarette or become addicted to tobacco – an addiction that could one day end their lives prematurely.
Hamilton County Public Health’s Goals:
- Help tobacco users quit
- Educate the residents of Hamilton County about the dangers of secondhand smoke
- Prevent youth from starting to use tobacco products
- Act as a resource to the community
- Coordinate local tobacco control and exposure initiatives
More than 21 percent of high school students and nearly 4 percent of middle school students use tobacco (Source: American Lung Association, State of Tobacco Control, 2014). Every day, thousands of children try their first cigarette or become addicted to tobacco – an addiction that could one-day end their lives prematurely.
What can we do about this?
- Support Tobacco-Free Environments.
- Support Tobacco-Free Schools – Tobacco Free Schools help de-normalize tobacco use. Schools with 100 Percent Tobacco Free policies prohibit the use of tobacco on school grounds, in school buildings and at all school sponsored events. Hamilton County Public Health works with schools to develop and promote tobacco-free school policies. For more information, call (513) 946-7926.
- Decrease Youth Access – In Ohio, you must be 18 years of age to buy or possess tobacco. Storeowners and community members should be diligent in preventing underage youth from purchasing or possessing tobacco products. If you know of a store in your community that sells tobacco to minors, please call (513) 946-7926.
- Support Increases in Tobacco Taxes – Because younger smokers have low incomes, an increase in the cost of tobacco may cause youth to cut down on, quit, or never begin smoking. Contact your local and state legislators about this issue.