DENVER — Denver Public Health warned Wednesday that tobacco use in the city is at unhealthy levels.
Eighteen percent of adults smoke cigarettes in Denver, much higher than the national goal of 12 percent. The health department also says 5,300 young people become daily smokers each year.
The alarm comes one day before The Great American Smokeout, which encourages smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or even just quit starting that day.
By 12th grade, 17 percent of Denver teenagers (22 percent boys and 13 percent girls) say they smoked tobacco within the past 30 days.
“Tobacco use is a cause of four of the most common causes of death in Denver which are heart attacks and stroke, cancer, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia,” said Bill Burman, M.D., Director of Denver Public Health. “One of the best things an adult can do for a student who smokes is to help them stop smoking and encourage them to call the Quitline.”
The Colorado QuitLine offers free, telephone-based coaching in English and Spanish for residents age 15 and older who want to quit smoking. the number is 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669).