Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the world, in America, in Indiana and right here in Vanderburgh County. Cigarettes cause more deaths than cocaine, auto accidents, AIDS, alcohol, heroin, fire, suicide and homicide combined.
The cost to our society is great, including over 5.4 million lives lost every year worldwide, 480,000 in the U.S. and 11,100 in Indiana. This is not including the 41,280 Americans (1,426 Hoosiers) that die every year from exposure to someone else's smoke.
In Vanderburgh County 22% of the adult population smokes. Thats 31,432 smokers, of which 318 die every year and 9,549 continue to live with a tobacco related illness.
How many times have you heard the words "tough economic times" lately? How much of it can we contribute to smoking?
$6.1 billion in annual health care costs related to tobacco use each year in Indiana with $590 million in Medicaid costs alone.
Which means each Indiana family pays $903 per household to treat tobacco related diseases each year whether they smoke or not.
Secondhand smoke costs Indiana $1.3 billion dollars in excess medical expenses, or about $201 dollars per person each year.
One life lost to tobacco is one too many. This is why we do what we do!
-Julie Phillips - Director of Smokefree Communities
Smokefree Communities is a community collaboration of many groups, organizations and individuals from every sector of Vanderburgh County including:
- service providers
- health professionals
- faith groups
- business professionals
We work together proactively to continuously improve the safety, health and well being of our communities through tobacco prevention and education. We serve as a catalyst for changing the behavioral norms surrounding tobacco for the people who live and work in our communities.
YOU CAN GET INVOLVED TOO!
Do you care about your community and the health of its members?
Are you a member of a group or organization that is engaged in issues relating to health, human services or public safety?
Are you a socially conscious resident who is tired of having to breathe air polluted by secondhand smoke
Do you just want a chance to make a positive difference in the world or give something back?
If the answer is YES to any of these questions, then you need to say YES to joining the coalition!!! Meetings are generally held the second Tuesday of the month at 3:30 p.m. Call us for the location of the meeting at 488-5000