Maine CDC Press Release

May 30, 2018

Maine CDC Recognizes World No Tobacco Day 2018

AUGUSTA - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is observing World No Tobacco Day on May 31. This year's focus is on tobacco and heart disease.

Since the landmark Surgeon General Report of 1964, when smoking was linked to lung cancer, the world has come to understand how tobacco affects all parts of the body, especially a person's heart and blood vessels. Tobacco use is a major cause of heart disease and causes one of every three deaths from heart disease. There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and the risk of stroke by 20 to 30 percent. People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk of suffering adverse effects from breathing secondhand smoke and should avoid even brief exposures.

The Maine CDC's Maine Prevention Services Initiative aims to address tobacco use and its affects throughout the state. The tobacco prevention portion of the statewide initiative includes strategies that focus on three key areas: prevention of youth initiation; reducing exposure to secondhand smoke; and promotion of tobacco treatment through the Maine Tobacco HelpLine.

These strategies help reduce exposure to secondhand smoke through the promotion and adoption of smoke and tobacco-free environments. Maine hospitals are all well positioned to address tobacco use and exposure encouraging their patients, staff and communities to be tobacco-free. The annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence program for hospitals recognizes those that have taken steps to address tobacco use and exposure. In 2017, through the Tobacco Prevention initiative, 33 of Maine's 39 hospitals were recognized for their efforts to meet the ten Gold Star Standards.

Families can take the "smoke-free home pledge" to show their commitment to keeping their home healthier by removing secondhand smoke. More than 7,200 Maine families have taken the pledge to remove smoking from their home; you can join them by visiting: www.breatheeasymaine.org pledge.

"We know most people who use tobacco want to quit," said Dr. Bruce Bates, Maine CDC Director. "Those interested in quitting should know that it's never too late and it may take multiple attempts. It is important to talk to your doctor about what treatment might be right for you."

For help quitting, call the Maine Tobacco HelpLine at 1-800-207-1230; The HelpLine is free, confidential and staffed with a team ready to help create a quit plan just for you.

For additional information on quitting, visit: www.thequitlink.com