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Promoting Tobacco Prevention in Ohio

More than one in five high school students in Ohio smoke cigarettes and more than one in ten use smokeless tobacco. According to the 2014 Surgeon General's Report, "The Health Consequences of Smoking - 50 Years of Progress," 88 percent of tobacco users started before they turned 18, and nearly all first usage of cigarettes occurs before age 26. If we want to end the tobacco epidemic, we must educate the youth about the dangers of tobacco and change the social norms around tobacco use with our younger generations. With this in mind, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) continues to work with the general public, local public health agencies, public school systems, colleges and universities, residents and managers of multi-unit housing, and healthcare providers.

Statistics indicate that certain demographic groups have higher tobacco usage rates, including those with lower incomes, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, and racial minorities. Our tobacco prevention and cessation efforts place special focus on these groups, as well as pregnant women who use tobacco, and youth.

Secondhand Smoke: Real Health Risks for Non-Tobacco Users

The dangers of secondhand smoke are real for family members, friends, and others who are near while someone is smoking. There are more than 4,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke. The health risks from exposure include cancer, heart disease, lung disease and other health problems. Unborn babies and children face the most risks. Recent research also indicates that toxic matter from smoking remains long after smoking ends, creating health risks for anyone touching surfaces or breathing air that still carries the stink from smoke. Our goals and initiatives include education and elimination of secondhand smoke exposure.

ODH promotes model tobacco-free policies for public district schools, public universities, multi-unit housing, public places, and worksites. Most of ODH's funding for prevention and cessation education comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health, Ohio general revenue funds and funds from the Master Settlement Agreement.

Contact ODH's Tobacco Use Prevention & Cessation program at 614-728-2429 or at .