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Celebrate World Heart Day on September 29 by Quitting Tobacco or Encouraging Loved Ones to Quit

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - The World Heart Federation’s annual World Heart Day is celebrated around the globe on September 29. “One World, One Home, One Heart,” the 2012 theme, focuses on the prevention of stroke and cardiovascular disease (CVD) among women and children, specifically highlighting the prevention of key risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, and low levels of physical activity.

According to Tobacco in the Great Land, in Alaska CVD claimed 769 lives in 2008 alone. Tobacco use is a common cause of CVD and stroke as smokers are four times more likely to experience these negative and often deadly health effects compared to non-smokers. What’s more, even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger a heart attack. In Alaska, nearly 50 percent of all Alaska high school students are still exposed to indoor cigarette smoke.

Heart disease is still the number one cause of death for women in the US, but the good news is heart disease is preventable. Many women may significantly reduce their risk if they have the information they need, know the questions to ask their health providers and receive the support to make heart smart changes in their lives.

Alaskans can celebrate World Heart Day by quitting tobacco, encouraging friends and family members to quit and protecting others from secondhand smoke.

Free and confidential help is available for Alaska adults wanting to quit by calling Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or by visiting Alaskaquitline.com. Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line offers free coaching, nicotine replacement therapies and/or cessation counseling. It’s free. It’s confidential. And it works.

The World Heart Foundation is a supporter of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The treaty is the world’s first public health treaty. For more information on World Heart Day, visit http://www.world-heart-federation.org/.

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