In Sutter County, annual cost of smoking estimated at $56 million, including $30 million in direct health care costs

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Today is National No Tobacco Day, and the Sutter County Public Health Department is in the midst of a full court press to get the word out about the dangers of smoking and the use of e-cigarette nicotine products.

To mark this day, Sutter County’s new policy designating all County owned, leased, and operated facilities and campuses as Smoke and Tobacco-Free goes into effect. The new policy, approved by the Board of Supervisors on April 10, 2018, will include all enclosed and unenclosed areas, including buildings, grounds, parks, and parking lots.

The Smoke and Tobacco-Free Campus policy declares that the use of any tobacco product, or use of any product that mimics smoking or produces smoke be prohibited. This policy applies to all staff, campus visitors, clients, vendors, contractors and volunteers. The policy designation promotes the health and well-being of all Sutter County employees and the community they serve by decreasing risk of secondhand smoke inhalation. Sutter County facilities and campuses will be a place where we can all practice health. “This is a great step forward in providing a healthier place to live and work for Sutter County employees and for the people that they serve,” stated Dr. Lou Anne Cummings, Sutter County Health Officer. You can read the Public Health Department’s entire press release here: https://www.suttercounty.org/newscenter/item/1088

After a front page story ran in the Appeal-Democrat this morning about the exposure of youth to dangerous, flavored tobacco products, staff from the Sutter County Public Health Department appeared on Sacramento TV Channel 10s’s Sac & Company show to issue the same message. Here’s a link to that interview: https://www.abc10.com/video/entertainment/television/programs/sacco/breathe-easy-sutter/103-8145055

Today from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Public Health’s Tobacco Education staff were scheduled to be at the Sutter County Library,  750 Forbes Avenue, Yuba City, with Dandy the Smokeless Dragon, and tobacco education games and activities aimed at youth.

While use of tobacco products by adults is growing, Sutter County residents still smoke at a higher rate than the rest of California. In every community, a growing number of children report having tried a flavored tobacco product.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, secondhand smoke is a preventable factor of numerous health problems in infants and children, including asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. According to researchers, the annual cost of smoking in Sutter County is estimated at more than $56 million, more than $30 million of that in direct health care costs.