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Two counties agencies partner on tobacco-free initiatives

• Mar 21, 2018 at 9:00 PM

As part of an Ohio Department of Health and Center for Disease Control (CDC) Anti-Tobacco Grant, Huron County Public Health (HCPH) is partnering with Huron County Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS) Board to address tobacco use in individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders.

In addition to joint outreach and education efforts, the Huron County MHAS Board has recently adopted a smoke-free campus/facility policy as a part of its funding requirements.

“Part of the Huron County MHAS Board’s mission is to educate and advocate for community members. Knowing what we know today about tobacco-free indoor and outdoor spaces and how they can positively protect the health of our community members and the clients served by our funded agencies, as well as the role that addiction to tobacco plays in all addictions and addiction treatment, we felt that this policy adoption and partnership with HCPH was very fitting to the aims of our Board,” said Dr. Beth Williams, Executive Director of the Huron County MHAS Board.

Nationally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) endorses tobacco-free facility/grounds policy adoption as well as the inclusion of tobacco treatment into behavioral healthcare settings. Smoke-free campus/facility policies, like the one supported by the Huron County MHAS Board, protect clients and staff from harmful exposure to secondhand smoke, as well as provide motivation to help tobacco users quit and stay smoke-free.

Along with smoke-free environments, HCPH and Huron County MHAS also are promoting the importance of tobacco cessation, especially for individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders. Smoking causes more deaths among clients with substance use disorder than the alcohol or drug use that brings them to treatment. By including tobacco cessation with their treatment, an individual’s chances of maintaining long-term alcohol and drug abstinence increases by 25%.

HCPH and Huron County MHAS will continue to work together to educate community members on the benefits of tobacco-free policies and tobacco cessation.

For more information, visit www.huroncoheatlh.com or for FREE help to quit smoking call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

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