May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. The goal is to contribute to protecting present and future generations not only from the devastating health consequences due to tobacco, but also from the social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. This year, the Traverse Bay Area Tobacco Coalition (TBATC) has recognized Northern Lakes CMH for its efforts to assist our staff and persons served to quit using tobacco.
People with mental Illness smoke at more than twice the rate (41%) compared to the current average adult rate in Michigan (18%). This higher amount of tobacco use significantly contributes to smokers with mental illness are dying 25 years earlier, yet their desire to quit is the same. To tip this balance, NLCMHA has launched a project to provide tobacco cessation services to this high-risk population, based on evidence that targeted interventions can be effective.
Greg Paffhouse, NLCMHA CEO, said, “In partnership with the American Lung Association, the Michigan Department of Community Health, and with the support of many local partners we began planning, in 2013, to help employees and persons served stop using tobacco products. Recently we had staff training and received new resources on assisting persons served to quit and we believe it will lead to more successful quit attempts.”
There are free resources to help tobacco users quit. The Michigan Department of Community Health offers a free telephone service. Callers can receive information and referrals and, if qualified, can enroll in a free coaching program and even receive nicotine replacement medications to assist them in quitting. Call the Michigan Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or visit online at: http://www.njhcommunity.org/michigan/.