More DC residents are quitting tobacco use every year—and you can too! During the week of Sept. 21-25, 2015, the DC Tobacco Free Coalition partnered with more than 40 local organizations in the District of Columbia, including the American Heart Association, to sponsor DC Calls It Quits! Week, a public awareness campaign aimed at informing residents about the importance of quitting tobacco.
“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., and smoking kills more than 700 District of Columbia residents each year, as well as leads to a significant decline in quality of life,” says Charles Debnam, Chair of the DC Tobacco Free Coalition, and You’re the Cure advocate. “More than 14 percent of adults in Washington, DC are smokers. Our main goal is to educate and inform residents about the resources available to help them quit.”
On Tuesday, September 22nd members of the DC Tobacco Free Coalition and AHA advocates met at the John A. Wilson building and were presented with a ceremonial resolution from the DC Council before their legislative meeting. Presented by Council Committee on Health chairwoman Yvette Alexander, the resolution proclaimed that the week of September 20th is “DC Calls it Quits Week”—a week to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and receive help by accessing local cessation services.
As part of the week's events, AHA hosted a Twitter Chat to discuss this public health issue as well as to share tobacco cessation tips and resources. There were more than 900 tweets using the #DCquits hashtag, by more than 160 users, with a potential reach of 1,670,225!
Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director of the DC Department of Health encourages “all residents who smoke to call the DC Quitline – 1 (800) QUIT NOW (784-8669) – which provides smoking cessation services, including counseling sessions with certified tobacco treatment specialists, free nicotine patches and a local number for Spanish-speaking residents.”
It feels good to be a quitter! Call the DC Quitline (1-800-QUIT NOW) to quit for good!
<Thanks to You’re the Cure intern Sydney Nelson for help developing this blog post!>