Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials will announce the kickoff of an anti-smoking campaign for Los Angles County on Wednesday, August 25 at 2:20 p.m. at 1450 Ocean Avenue (next to the Santa Monica Senior Center).
The campaign is being designed to target priority populations throughout the county that currently have high smoking rates. These populations include blacks, Asian males, those living in poverty, and those with mental illness and /or substance abuse problems. This program will involve several policy-based initiatives, social services, support for those wishing to stop to smoking, and a media campaign.
Funding for this campaign, according to the event press release, will come from a federal stimulus grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Communities Putting Prevention To Work initiative. As one of the largest grant recipients, Los Angeles County received “approximately $32 million over a two-year period for activities addressing obesity, physical activity, nutrition, tobacco use, and exposure to tobacco smoke.”
Linda Aragon, MPH, Program Director for L.A. County Department of Public Health Tobacco Control and Prevention Program said, “We’re making the announcement in Santa Monica because the City has been a leader in tobacco prevention and control.
“Among other announcements, we felt it was important to recognize Santa Monica for recently making the pier 100 percent smoke-free and adopting a smoke-free multi-unit housing policy that will further protect residents from secondhand smoke,” she said.
In July Santa Monica’s City Council approved banning smoking within 25-feet of a door or window in any multi-unit residential building. The city also prohibits smoking on the city’s beaches, the Third Street Promenade, and outdoor dining areas.
Smoking is known to increase a person’s chances of developing heart disease, having a stroke, developing certain types of cancers, ear infections, asthma, and bronchitis. Secondhand smoke is a mixture of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, and the smoke a smoker breaths out. It is also considered a serious health hazard because it can cause some of the same health problems for non-smokers who are exposed to it as for those who smoke.
Others who will be part of the event are Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Director and Health Officer of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding.