Anti-secondhand smoking campaign begins next month
Do you have to breathe cigarette smoke? Even if you don't smoke?
The Richland County Health Department hopes not.
Richland and 28 other county health departments in North Dakota are gearing up for an anti-secondhand smoke, multi-media campaign from September through April 2003.
The $11,000 contribution from Richland County was from a tobacco grant from the settlement of the tobacco lawsuit, said Richland County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Colleen Larson, R.N.
"Our contribution was based on our county's population of 17,998 in the 2000 Census," Larson said.
The campaign will include print, radio and TV ads, like the one people may have seen a few weeks ago, with the waitress serving people in a smoky diner, while talking about how hard it is to give up a habit, especially when it's not yours, meaning secondhand smoke.
It will target adults between 18-54.
Under the lawsuit settlement agreement, the tobacco companies will pay states for the next 25 years based on that state's cigarette sales.
The North Dakota Legislature approved about $52 million in funding for 2001-2003, according to the county health department.
Ten percent of that money is for the Community Health Trust Fund.
According to information provided by the county health department, tobacco use is the most preventable cause of death and disease in North Dakota.
In 1999, the most recent data available, smoking costs residents of the state more than $193 million per year, or $303 per capita, in direct medical expenses for treatment of smoking- related diseases.
About $158 million, which is $249 per person, is lost productivity due to illnesses caused by smoking.
Nearly 11 percent of Medicaid expenses, $37 million, were spent on smoking related diseases and illnesses.