A study was released on October 24, 2016 that tells of a very serious problem in Arkansas. The study found that 2,175 people died in 2014 from smoking-related cancers. That put Arkansas in the #2 spot, just behind Kentucky.
But wait, Arkansas is in the #1 spot for men who died from smoking-related cancers. In fact, 2 out of every 5 men in Arkansas die from cancer caused by smoking. Out of the top 5 states for smoking-related cancer deaths in women, Arkansas is ranked #4.
These shocking numbers did, however, show a silver lining. They showed just how important the Arkansas Quitline is in helping people quit smoking before it’s too late. In fact, nearly 90% of quitline users rated their experience as a positive one. Tobacco users who use the quitline are more likely to successfully quit than tobacco users who try to quit by themselves. There’s proof that the quitline is effective because Arkansas ranks 9th in the nation in quitline reach. It’s not hard to see that without the quitline, that 2,175 death toll would have been much higher.
But Arkansas and its quitline has a lot of hard work ahead. The national average of current adult smokers is 18.1%. Arkansas has a current rate of 24.7%. There is more to be done in reaching Black men, also. Black men have a higher rate of dying from smoking-related cancers than other groups. This is especially true for the South where blacks make up larger sections of the population. When it comes to quitline use, blacks make up 19% of registrants while whites make up 72%.
Health education should also increase among Arkansans. The study found that people with little education are less aware of how smoking can cause harm to the body. To show how smoking can take people out, just look at one type of smoking-related cancer. For example, lung cancer. 1,894 people got lung cancer in 2013. 1,655 of them died. That’s an 87% death rate!
Tobacco use has very real effects that cut your life short. There must be more attention given to tobacco-free programs such as the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline. People who want to quit need to know how to get help. These types of services can help reduce future smoking-related cancer deaths.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It can happen anywhere in the body. Stop your body’s dying process by starting its healing process. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. A quit counselor is ready to hear from you. They’re there 24 hours a day. Gum, patches, and lozenges are available to help you quit.