Nearly 300 Connecticut kids lose their fathers each year to tobacco-related illnesses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
June 15, 2012 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) urges fathers to give their families a gift this Father’s Day: a tobacco-free dad. DPH encourages fathers to take steps to quit using tobacco to ensure they are around for Father’s Day for years to come while setting a healthy lifestyle example for their children.
“Children of parents who smoke are more likely to model their behavior and use tobacco. By quitting, dads can make a big difference in the choices their kids make about using tobacco,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Quitting tobacco use is one of the greatest gifts that dads can give their families this Father’s Day. Kicking the habit can be difficult, but help is available by calling the Connecticut Quitline.”
Every year, nearly 300 kids in Connecticut lose their fathers to smoking-related illnesses. In addition, approximately 186,000 Connecticut children are exposed to secondhand smoke at home. Secondhand smoke exposure increases a child’s risk for asthma, eye and ear problems, pneumonia, bronchitis and other health- related problems. Children whose parents smoke are more likely to start smoking as well.
The Connecticut Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) provides free motivational counseling with a trained Quit Coach, quitting information, and support for those trying to quit tobacco. Quit Coaches will work with tobacco users to determine if the nicotine patch, gum or other medication is needed to stem cravings. Services are available in English, Spanish and other languages. Counseling is tailored to the specific needs of each tobacco user and quit guides, which are full of helpful tips and information, are provided to help keep the tobacco user on track.
The health benefits of quitting smoking are almost immediate. Within 20 minutes of quitting, a smoker’s heart rate slows down and within eight hours there is more oxygen in the blood, and mucus begins to clear from the lungs, making it easier to breathe.
For more information on free programs to quit tobacco use offered by the Department of Public Health, please visit www.ct.gov/dph/tobacco.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.