This November, Tobacco Free Allegheny is joining forces once again with the Allegheny County Health Department and Live Well Allegheny to host the region’s second smoking cessation week (November 13-19) “Allegheny Quits for Life.”
Why is this important? Smoking rates are declining nationally, but the battle is far from over. Every day, roughly 1,300 Americans die from smoking-related illnesses; that’s 480,000 a year. This isn’t just a national problem – the health effects of tobacco smoke disproportionately affect Western Pennsylvanians.
In 2015, as part of the first ever Allegheny Quits for Life, TFA worked with 11 partner organizations and helped with 12 different events. The same week a the event, the PA Free Quitline saw a 9% jump in calls from other weeks in November.
23% of adult Allegheny County residents smoke, compared to 18.4% of Pennsylvania residents and 17.8% of adult Americans. This isn’t a category we want to be leading. That’s why Tobacco Free Allegheny and the Allegheny County Health Department’s Live Well Allegheny campaign have joined forces again to make 2016 the year that Allegheny Quits for Life.
Allegheny Quits for Life will entail a week-long series of events and communications designed to support residents’ efforts to quit smoking. Allegheny Quits for Life partners will be critical to convey the message that a smoke free Allegheny is a healthier Allegheny, and to secure commitments from Allegheny residents to take the first steps to quit.
November 13th through 19th is Smoking Cessation Awareness Week. November 17th is the Great American SmokeOut - the day when people are encouraged to quit, even just for one day.
Ways to Quit
- Call the PA Free Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. They offer FREE counseling phone calls and the possibility of FREE medication (the patch, the gum, or the lozenge).
- Talk to your healthcare professional about how they can help you quit.
- Find a local class - there's plenty of different classes in Allegheny County. Try calling some of the ones listed on our Where to Get Help page.
- Use the web - there's lot's of websites that offer assistance to quit. Try the following:
Share your Story
Tobacco Free Allegheny is active on multiple social media accounts. Share the story of how you quit smoking for life with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube and use #AlleghenyQuitsforLife. What helped you quit? Did you quit for someone or something in particular? Maybe your story will help someone else quit for life as well.
TFA will be hosting a second Public Service Announcement Video Contest for middle and high schoolers grades 6th through 12th.
Looking for some information about tobacco to share? Check these ones out below:
E-cigarettes (also known as ENDS - Electronic Nicotine Delivery System)
Tobacco Consumption and taxes and cigarettes companies from Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
Want to Partner with us?
Do you work with a healthcare organization that wants to partner with TFA and the Allegheny County Health Department on Cessation Awareness Week? Let us know – contact Brittany Huffman. In the meantime, share some information on your website or social media page. It’s all about awareness this week!
Do you have an event that your hosting the week of November 13th to help people quit smoking? Let us know and we'll be sure to share it on our calendar.
A great big THANK YOU to our Steering Committee, listed below:
Cele Fichter-DeSando, Addiction Medicine Services
Marie Fontelo, Allegheny County Health Department
Hannah Hardy, Allegheny County Health Department
Brittany Huffman, Tobacco Free Allegheny
Anne Marie Kuchera, Children's Hospital of Pittburgh
Gretchen North, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh
Mark Rogalsky, Pittsburgh Mercy
Lorraine Starsky, Allegheny County Health Department
Megan Tulikangas, Health Policy Institute
Melissa Wade, Allegheny County Health Department
Abby Wilson, Allegheny County Health Department
Cassandra Wood, American Lung Association
Thank you to our current partners who are working with us to help Allegheny County residents quit smoking for life! Click their logo to find out more about them.