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Good Health Adds Life: Quit Tobacco for World Health Day 2012

Anchorage, ALASKA—World Health Day is a global awareness campaign that is celebrated April 7 annually. It signifies the 1948 founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) and invites everyone on the planet to focus on a single health challenge with global impact. The theme of this year’s World Health Day is aging and health with the thought that "good health adds life to years."

Good health throughout life can help older men and women lead full and productive lives so they may continue to be a resource for their families and communities. Aging concerns each and every one of us – young or old, male or female, rich or poor – no matter where we live. You can extend your years in life by making one change: Quit tobacco.

Those who quit using tobacco feel immediate results and may reverse some of the damage that has occurred. One year after a smoker quits, their excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke has dropped to less than half that of a smoker. It’s never too late to quit tobacco.

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the US and in Alaska, causing approximately 443,000 deaths nationwide and 546 deaths in Alaska each year. Tobacco use causes more deaths each year in Alaska than suicide, motor vehicle crashes, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, homicide, and HIV/AIDS combined.

Free help is available for Alaska adults by calling Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting alaskaquitline.com. Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line offers free coaching, nicotine replacement therapies and/or cessation counseling.

 The WHO is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries, and monitoring and assessing health trends.

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