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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall is the public information director of the Henry/Stark Health Departments.
Blog: Grant boosts smoke-free efforts
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By RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall, Henry County Health Department
April 10, 2013 10 a.m.

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments is pleased to announce it

has been working with the Henry County Housing Authority on "Smoke Free"

initiatives as a part of its new "We Choose Health" Grant.

"We Choose Health" is a multi-year Illinois Department of Public Health

(IDPH) initiative to encourage and support obesity and tobacco prevention in

Illinois Communities. IDPH received a Community Transformation Grant (CTG)

from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to work with

communities to implement proactive health programs.

Alison Womack, Health Department "We Choose Health" Grant Community

Health Advisor/Specialist notes, "We are pleased to be working with the

Henry County Housing Authority to help with smoke free initiatives in its

multi-housing units. The truth is that secondhand smoke exposure poses

serious health threats to children and adults. According to the US Surgeon

General, there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. Eliminating

indoor smoking is the only way to protect nonsmokers from the harmful

effects of tobacco smoke. For residents of multi-unit housing (e.g.,

apartment buildings and condominiums), secondhand smoke can be a major

concern given that it can migrate from other units through ventilation

systems, plumbing, electrical lines and doorways."

"Smoke-Free" Iniatatives that the Housing Authority is currently

undertaking include:

* Instituting smoking huts at their four high-rises (Maple City-Geneseo,

Lincoln-Galva, and Hollis and Washington in Kewanee).

* Making outdoor cigarette butt receptacles available at their multi-unit

housing and tracking the frequency of cleaning and disposal of these

receptacles.

* Adopting and approving a smoke free policy by the Housing Authority's

Board of Directors.

Womack adds, "These are just a starting points for us. Other grant

goals and objectives include: coordinating educational sessions and smoking

cessation sessions; promotion of the Illinois Tobacco Quitline; and

monitoring the volume and use of nicotine replacement therapy products among

tenants. We look forward to working with the Housing Authority in

instituting more proactive "Smoke Free" initiates. After all, such efforts

can reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke, lung cancer and premature

death in adults. And in children, they reduce the risk of sudden infant

death syndrome (SIDS), respiratory infections, asthma, and ear infections."

For more information on the "We Choose Health" grant offered through

the Henry and Stark County Health Departments call the Department at (309)

852-0197 or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on

Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments.


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