The Tobacco Prevention Program seeks to improve the health of the citizens of Sullivan County by preventing and controlling the use of tobacco through a variety of programs and community partnerships that focus on:
Preventing initiation of tobacco use among young people
Promoting quitting among adults, youth, and pregnant women
Eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke, especially for infants and small children
Identifying and eliminating tobacco-related disparities
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. The health consequences of tobacco use include heart disease, multiple types of cancer, pulmonary disease, adverse reproductive effects, and the exacerbation of chronic health conditions. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.
In Sullivan County, 28.4% of adults (18+) and 8.3% of youth are current cigarette smokers. Among pregnant women, 23.6% continued to smoke during pregnancy, compared to 14.3% in the state of Tennessee.
If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness.