Yesterday was quite a day! Locally, our coalition, the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition (MOTAC) hosted a cigarette butt clean-up as part of the Omaha Tobacco-Free Parks Initiative in three Omaha parks: Elmwood, Mandan, and Miller. And unfortunately, we found a lot of tobacco trash in our parks.
We also had a lot of activity online through our blog, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. We thank you all for being involved in this initiative to educate and raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco and secondhand smoke. Tobacco continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in this country. Now is the time that we join together to make positive changes in our community so that everyone has the chance to be healthy.
As part of this project, the Center and MOTAC were able to reach more than 2000 people through:
We hope that this is just the beginning of a strong tobacco-free movement and that everyone will continue to be involved! One way to stay up to date with what’s happening is to like the Facebook pages listed above or follow us on Twitter.
Thanks for commemorating World No Tobacco Day with us! We’ll see you again next year.
Tobacco use is a serious public health threat. Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. More people die from tobacco than AIDS, alcohol, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined each year. Tobacco taxes are a proven way to discourage youth from smoking and encourage adults to quit. Tobacco taxes are good for health, good for people (youth and adults), and good for the states’ bottom line. In fact, raising taxes on tobacco is the most effective policy to reduce tobacco use. It is also the most cost-effective (WHO, 2014).
Nebraska ranks 38th out of 50 in tobacco taxes, making it one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the country at only $0.64 per pack. The national average on tobacco tax is $1.53 per pack. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: the highest combined state-local tax rate is $6.16 per pack in Chicago, IL, with New York City second at $5.85 per pack. According to Go Healthy Nebraska, “Studies, and experience in state after state, show that higher cigarette taxes are one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking among both youth and adults. Every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by about seven percent and overall cigarette consumption by about four percent.”
The American Cancer Society’s advocacy arm released a poll last Fall that said 68 percent of likely voters in Nebraska support an increase, while 29 percent oppose it. To watch the whole story, visit: http://www.ketv.com/news/advocates-call-for-nebraska-tobacco-tax-increase/22510102#!SQ4k6.
We hope that you will join us for this day of action by participating in the online dialogue on Facebook, Twitter, and of course right here on our Blog. Become a fan of our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha and engage with us using the hashtag: #WNTD2014!
World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), celebrated each year on May 31. According to the World Heath Organization (WHO), the goal of WNTD is to contribute to protecting present and future generations not only from the devastating health consequences due to tobacco, but also from the social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. Tobacco is a first rate killer. It is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for 10% of adult deaths worldwide. The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing secondhand smoke. Unless we do something, the epidemic will kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030. More than 80% of these preventable deaths will be among people living in low-and middle-income countries.
WHO World No Tobacco Day Campaign: Raise Tobacco Tax, Lower Death & Disease
Specific goals of the 2014 WHO WNTD campaign are that:
- governments increase taxes on tobacco to levels that reduce tobacco consumption;
- individuals and civil society organizations encourage their governments to increase taxes on tobacco to levels that reduce consumption.
Again this year as part of our World No Tobacco Day activities, the Center will be doing an online media project to inform and engage the public on the dangers of tobacco and secondhand smoke as well as some of the community-based initiatives that are going on in Omaha and across the country. We hope that you will join us for this day of action by participating in the online dialogue on Facebook, Twitter, and of course right here on our Blog. Become a fan of our Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha and engage with us using the hashtag: #WNTD2014!