Eliminate Secondhand Smoke
People who don't use tobacco face the same risks as smokers if they are exposed to second-hand smoke. The Surgeon General has concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Apartment buildings where smoking is allowed represent a particular hazard to residents who are non-smokers. Smoke travels through openings in common walls (such as electrical outlets) and through ventilation systems, and often enters apartments where non-smokers live.
Adopting a smoke-free policy makes sense for landlords not only because it creates a healthier environment for tenants, but because smoking in apartments causes extra cleaning labor and expense before new tenants can move in. Smoking is also a major cause of fires in apartment buildings. A listing of smoke-free apartment options in Richland County will soon be available. Meanwhile, tenants and landlords alike can get more information about smoke-free living at www.smokefreehousingnd.com.
NDQuits, a free telephone and online services, effectively helps North Dakotans quit using tobacco. The best way to quit tobacco is to use social support and proper medication. On average 35% of NDQuits members are tobacco free after one year compared to 5% of people who are able to quit on their own. Call NDQuits at 1-800-784-8669 or log on to ndhealth.gov/ndquits.
Prevent Youth Initiation
Reducing young people's use of tobacco depends on changing social norms to make tobacco less desirable, less acceptable and less accessible. Youth prevention work in Richland County includes:
- Provide information on the impact of increasing taxes on tobacco products. North Dakota has one of the nation's lowest tobacco taxes and one of the nation's highest rates of youth tobacco use. Raising taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products has been shown to effectively reduce youth tobacco use.
- Most Richland County schools have comprehensive anti-tobacco policies, or are in the process of adopting such policies. The Tobacco Prevention Program advises schools on policy.
- Enforcement of state laws and local ordinances helps limit youth access to tobacco. Regular compliance checks ensure that retailers ask for age identification of young tobacco purchasers. Laws and ordinances also require that tobacco products be sold only from behind the counter; self-service displays are not allowed.
www.ndhealth.gov/ndquits Make your plan to quit
www.cdc.gov/tobacco Center for Disease Control and Prevention
www.no-smoke.org Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights
www.cancer.org American Cancer Society
www.lung.org American Lung Association
www.heart.org American Heart Association
www.breatheND.com North Dakota's smoke-free law
www.chewfree.com Spit tobacco cessation resource
For more information on the Tobacco Prevention Program use our Request for Information form.