Hancock Health and the Hancock County Tobacco Free Coalition are leading an effort to pick up cigarette butts around Hancock County as part of the Great American Smokeout® on November 15. Hancock County is one of dozens of Indiana communities participating in the national event. Since 1976, the American Cancer Society has hosted the Great American Smokeout® (GASO), a public awareness event to encourage people to quit smoking. GASO is celebrated on the third Thursday of November. Volunteers in Hancock County will weigh the cigarette butts to demonstrate the many negative impacts of tobacco on the health and environment of our communities and raise awareness about the free resources available in our communities to help tobacco users quit, including the Indiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) and Hancock Health’s Commit to Quit classes. Participating organizations in Hancock County include Hancock Health, Hancock County Tobacco Free Coalition, Eastern Hancock High School, Mt. Vernon High School, New Palestine High School, Greenfield-Central High School, City of Greenfield, and Town of New Palestine, where additional cleanup efforts will occur on school campuses and throughout their respective communities.
WHAT: “Waste Tobacco Filters – Poison By the Pound” Cigarette Butt Cleanup
WHEN: The Great American Smokeout – Thursday, November 15, 2018 – 11am-12pm
WHERE: Hancock County Courthouse Plaza, Downtown Greenfield
WHY: Hoosier health is suffering by so many measures, and tobacco use is a leading cause. Cigarette butts gathered in Hancock County represent the huge burden that tobacco places on our health and our economy. But awareness is not enough. We are focused on solutions. As a partner of Tobacco Free Indiana’s “Raise it for Health” campaign, we are also proposing to raise Indiana’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack and put that money to work on programs tackling the serious health issues that our state faces—tobacco prevention, addiction treatment, infant mortality, and access to rural health services.
Nicotine addiction, especially in cigarettes, is one of the strongest and most deadly addictions affecting people in our communities today. Cigarette smoking remains the number one preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. The Great American Smokeout® is the perfect day to highlight Indiana’s tobacco use problem. Increasing the price of cigarettes is one of the most effective ways to decrease smoking rates in Indiana, especially among youth. By raising the cigarette tax by $2.00 per pack, we can provide an extra incentive to Hoosiers who want to quit, while also generating over $300 million per year that can be used to expand access to addiction treatment, smoking/tobacco cessation counseling, youth tobacco prevention education, and so many other health programs.
For more information and to register for the FREE tobacco cessation resources available to the Hancock County community, visit Hancock Health’s website at www.hancockregionalhospital.org/wellness-education/classes and visit the “Smoking Cessation” link and call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.quitnowindiana.com
Brandee Bastin – (317) 468-4162