On the third Thursday of every November, the US celebrates the Great American Smokeout. An event that aims to educate the public about the dangers of smoking, by organizing activities with the aim of encouraging smokers to quit the deadly habit.

19% of the adult population in Allegheny, which equates to a significant  233,000 people, is still smoking.

Last Thursday, health officials pointed out that 19% of the adult population in Allegheny County, which equates to a significant  233,000 people, are still smoking. Additionally, pointed out director of the Health Department, Karen Hacker, 12% of the pregnant female population still smokes, despite the known risks that smoking carries to unborn babies.

In an attempt to bring these smoking rates down, the Live Well Allegheny campaign is informing the public about the PA Free Quitline, which offers personalized coaching sessions and free nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum or lozenges). Sadly, electronic cigarettes are not recommended as cessation aides, on the contrary in Allegheny vaping is regulated in the same way as smoking.

Following a number of public hearings and a public consultation that was launched last February, a measure which banned vaping in restaurants and public places was passed, in a move that extended the county’s smoking ban to include vaping products.

E-cigarettes remain smokers’ preferred cessation aides

A recent study indicated that up to 6.6 million early deaths could be avoided across the US, if smokers had to switch to e-cigs, this would amount to a 86.7 million years.

Public Health experts have been commending e-cigarettes for smoking cessation . The devices are considered the most effective cessation tools to date, due to the fact that the action of vaping mimics that of smoking, hence making the transition from smoking to not smoking a smoother one for addicts. In line with this, studies have been indicating that the products are infact the cessation aides of choice for smokers.

Additionally, a recent study from Georgetown University Medical Center, indicated that up to 6.6 million early deaths could be avoided across the country, if smokers had to switch to e-cigarettes. The researchers of this study said that the collective amount of extra years lived by those 6.6 million smokers who could switch to vaping, would add up to an astounding 86.7 million years. “Old policies need to be supplemented with policies that encourage substituting e-cigarettes for the far more deadly cigarettes,” said study co-author David Levy.

Read Further : Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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