Tag Archives: tobacco

DHEC in the News: Secondhand smoke in children, liver cancer, foodborne illness

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Dangers of secondhand smoke in children

Everyone knows that smoking is harmful to your health. It causes cancer, emphysema, heart attacks and strokes.

In short, it is deadly. Yet, people still smoke.

Many smokers believe it calms their nerves and reduces their appetite. However, this article is not about convincing people to stop smoking. As adults, you already know that you should stop and why. This column is about the dangers of smoking around children and what you can do about it.

Liver cancer deaths soar in South Carolina, across the US

Deaths from liver cancer are up a staggering 43 percent overall nationwide, and South Carolina’s rate is higher than the national average, federal health officials say.

While a number of factors could be to blame, including alcohol and tobacco use, experts point to rising rates of hepatitis C, or HCV, as the main culprit.

General Interest
Foodborne illness may be on the rise. Here’s why

(CNN) One child drank apple cider at a Connecticut farm, another a glass of juice during a road trip in Oregon; later, both were rushed to emergency rooms as they struggled for their lives. A middle-aged woman became sick more than a decade ago after enjoying a salad at a banquet hosted by a California hotel; her debilitating symptoms continue to this day.

A 17-year-old paid the ultimate price when he ate two hamburgers “with everything, to go” and died days later.

These are the stories behind the faces on the “Honor Wall” of Stop Foodborne Illness, the national nonprofit that represents and supports those who suffered a drastic consequence following the most ordinary act: eating.

DHEC in the News: Free sunscreen, obesity, smoke-free college campuses

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Free sunscreen now available in dispensers at Riverdogs stadium

Forgot your sunscreen? There may soon be dispensers of the stuff on the path to the beach and in the area’s parks.

There are already 10 of the sunscreen receptacles at the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park stadium, installed last Sunday. The SPF 30 sunscreen is free at the dispensers.

The initiative is intended to help bring down cases of melanoma. More cases of the skin cancer have been diagnosed every year in South Carolina, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

 General Interest

CDC Says Obesity Higher in Rural Versus Urban Counties

On June 15, the CDC released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)(www.cdc.gov) that found the prevalence of obesity was higher, at 34.2 percent, among U.S. adults living in nonmetropolitan counties than the 28.7 percent prevalence among those living in metropolitan counties.

This research was based on state-level data from the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an annual random-digit-dialed telephone survey of adults 18 and older. The CDC and state and territorial health departments conduct the BRFSS to monitor health conditions and related behaviors.

CDC: College Campuses Increasingly Go Smoke-Free

Twice as many colleges and universities in the U.S. had smoke-free or tobacco-free policies in 2017 than in 2012, according to the CDC and American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF).

The vast majority of the 2,082 colleges and universities with anti-smoking policies as of November 2017 were tobacco free, meaning they had banned not only conventional cigarette smoking, but all other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and hookah use.

DHEC in the News: Opioids, smoking, flu

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Florence VA addresses opioid issues among veterans

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Pee Dee Area Veterans Advisory Council held a forum on the opioid epidemic Tuesday morning.

Veterans, caregivers and others gathered at the Florence County Veterans Affairs building to learn more about the dangers of opioid and possible alternatives.

Smoking cost runs high in South Carolina

To encourage the estimated 36.5 million tobacco users in the U.S. to kick the dangerous habit, the personal finance website WalletHub calculated the potential monetary losses — including the lifetime and annual costs of a cigarette pack per day, health care expenditures, income losses and other costs — brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. The news for South Carolina smokers is not good.

General Interest

School closes for remainder of week due to flu outbreak

CLARENDON COUNTY, SC (WIS) – A school in Clarendon County will close its doors for a week after a number of students and staff members contracted the flu.

Officials say Clarendon Hall will be closed from January 24-26 after several people within the school tested positive for the influenza virus.

Strive for a safer, healthier life in 2017

In 2017, be purposeful about changing habits, taking precautions and instituting preventive measures aimed at improving your health and quality of life. Making the right decisions could make 2017 your healthiest yet.

A few tips to consider

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you:

  • Be smokefree. If you are ready to quit, call the S.C. Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or for services in Spanish, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569). Read this blog post to learn more. For more information on the S.C. Tobacco Quitline, visit the DHEC website.
  • Protect yourself from injury or disease by wearing a helmet when biking, using sunscreen when outdoors and insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illnesses.
  • Make an appointment for a check-up, vaccination or screening. Regular health exams and tests can help find problems early or even before they start.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water to prevent the spread of infection and illness.
  • Make healthy food choices. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts, and is low in saturated fats, transfats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
  • Be active to improve overall health. Exercise. Also, try simple things such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression.

More information is available

For more assistance in making 2017 your healthiest year yet, visit the CDC website.

DHEC Helps South Carolinians Kick the Habit

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reminds smokers and tobacco users that the Great American Smokeout (GASO) on November 17 offers the perfect opportunity to take advantage of cessation resources available through the S.C. Tobacco Quitline.

Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, GASO encourages smokers to quit for 24 hours and to make a plan for quitting permanently. DHEC’s S.C. Tobacco Quitline, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, can help South Carolinians with one-on-one telephone coaching, web-based and text message support, assistance developing a personalized quit plan, and free nicotine replacement therapy to eligible callers.

“For a decade, DHEC’s statewide Quitline has provided free tobacco treatment and cessation counseling services to nearly 100,000 tobacco users in South Carolina,” said Sharon Biggers, director of DHEC’s Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control. “Our agency is committed to promoting and protecting the health of all South Carolinians by helping tobacco users quit, preventing tobacco use and reducing the exposure to secondhand smoke.”

S.C. residents get free help

All South Carolinians who call the Quitline are guaranteed at least one free session with a trained quit coach and receive a Quit Kit. Callers who are uninsured, underinsured, are on Medicare or Medicaid, or are under age 18 are eligible for up to five free sessions with a quit coach, and pregnant/postpartum tobacco users can get up to 10 free sessions.  Online enrollment and 24/7 hours of operation have been introduced this year to increase accessibility.

“Anytime is a good time to quit, but the Great American Smokeout is the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf,” said Biggers. “Call today and quit for keeps.”

Smokers seeking assistance can reach the S.C. Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or for services in Spanish, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569).

 10 Years of Quitline Success:

  • 110,841 calls received
  • 37% had no health insurance
  • 21% had Medicaid
  • 32% remained tobacco-free after 7-months
  • 52% were tobacco users with a chronic condition, such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, coronary artery disease or cancer
  • 45% had a co-occurring mental health condition, like depression or anxiety, or a substance use disorder

For more information on the S.C. Tobacco Quitline, visit the DHEC website.