Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the nation and in Ohio. It is estimated that smoking costs Ohio – its employers and insurers - more than $9 billion in health care costs and productivity losses each year. With the right tools, Ohioans can quit using tobacco – and stay quit.
People with mental illness spend as much as 25% of their income on tobacco and consume 44% of the cigarettes sold in the U.S. From: A Hidden Epidemic: Tobacco Use and Mental Illness, 2012.
It is well documented that many people "self medicate" with tobacco for its calming and anti-anxiety effects. Anxiety disorders, from mild depression to PTSD require diagnosis and adequate medical support while weaning the patient off tobacco products.
The Quit Line serves as one of the most effective means for curbing smoking rates in Ohio – and is available to uninsured individuals, Medicaid recipients, pregnant women and members of the Ohio Tobacco Collaborative (employers and insurance companies which signed up for the plan) free of charge. Callers to the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line are five times more likely to successfully quit smoking than people who quit cold turkey.
If you are ready to quit tobacco, but want to make sure that you have the resources and support necessary for success, the Quit Line can help. Designated, experienced “quit specialists” are assigned to each person who enrolls in the program and can help set a quit date and design a quit plan that matches your tobacco use habits.
People with Disabilities and Tobacco Use
People with mental health disabilities die an average of 25 years younger than the general population, often due to co-occurring conditions that are not being managed or treated. Many times their conditions are worsened by smoking. Smoking adversely affects serious secondary health conditions and may lessen clinical response to the treatment of many conditions. Smoking rates are disproportionately higher (39.3%) in persons with any disability versus in the general population (22.0%). BRFSS, 2011.
Check out this Ohio Department of Health brochure for more information on Quitting Tobacco for People with Disabilities and their Caregivers. Use this ODH Order Form to get quantities of these brochures or related posters.
In November 2006, Ohioans passed the Smoke-Free Workplace Act, making Ohio the 12th state to protect all workers and the public from exposure to secondhand smoke in public places. Enforcement of the law began on May 3, 2007.
The law impacts approximately 280,000 “public places” and “places of employment” in Ohio. These workplaces must prohibit smoking, remove ashtrays and post no-smoking signs with the toll-free enforcement number, 1-866-559-OHIO (1-800-559-6446).
The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke
Everyone knows that smoking can cause many different diseases – but not everyone knows that coming into contact with secondhand smoke is just as bad. There are more than 4,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke - many of which are toxic and can cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and other health problems. While it may not appear to pose problems for some people in the short term, long-term exposure can lead to major health concerns. Other individuals may have immediate severe reactions to secondhand smoke. Children are at a particularly high risk for health problems related to secondhand smoke.