Florida’s Youth Cigarette Smoking Rate Reaches an All-Time Low

New data, released by the Florida Department of Health (Department), shows that fewer youth in Florida are smoking cigarettes than ever before. In 2014, only 4.3 percent of Florida’s youth, ages 11 to 17, are current cigarette smokers.
There are 59 percent fewer youth cigarette smokers in the state than before the Tobacco Free Florida program launched in 2007. This represents a decrease from 10.6 percent in 2006 to 4.3 percent in 2014.

 

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Great American Smokeout: Tobacco Free Florida Can Double Your Chances of Quitting Smoking  

The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, Nov. 20 and the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program is encouraging tobacco users across the state to plan in advance to quit on that day or to use the day to make a quit plan.  The observance raises awareness about the dangers of smoking and the many effective resources available to successfully quit.

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Why Smoking is Especially Bad If You Have Diabetes

Smoking and Diabetes

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a group of diseases in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Most of the food a person eats is turned into glucose (a kind of sugar) for the body’s cells to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin that helps glucose get into the body’s cells. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin very well. Less glucose gets into the cells and instead builds up in the blood.1

There are different types of diabetes. Type 2 is the most common in adults and accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes cases. Fewer people have type 1 diabetes, which most often develops in children, adolescents, or young adults.2

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How Is Smoking Related to Diabetes?

We now know that smoking causes type 2 diabetes. In fact, smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. And people with diabetes who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have trouble with insulin dosing and with controlling their disease.3

The more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your risk for type 2 diabetes.3 No matter what type of diabetes you have, smoking makes your diabetes harder to control.

If you have diabetes and you smoke, you are more likely to have serious health problems from diabetes. Smokers with diabetes have higher risks for serious complications, including:4

  • Heart and kidney disease
  • Poor blood flow in the legs and feet that can lead to infections, ulcers, and possible amputation (removal of a body part by surgery, such as toes or feet)
  • Retinopathy (an eye disease that can cause blindness)
  • Peripheral neuropathy (damaged nerves to the arms and legs that causes numbness, pain, weakness, and poor coordination)

If you are a smoker with diabetes, quitting smoking will benefit your health right away. People with diabetes who quit have better control of their blood sugar levels.5

For free help to quit, call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit CDC.gov/tips. Spanish-speakers can call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA
(1-855-335-3569) or visit CDC.gov/consejos.

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How Can Diabetes Be Prevented?

Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your chance of having type 2 diabetes.4

Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.6

Stay active. Physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in adults who are at high risk for the disease.6

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How Is Diabetes Treated?

Diabetes treatment and management can include:7

  • A healthy diet and physical activity program
  • Weight loss (if overweight or obese)
  • Medicines to control blood sugar by helping the body use insulin better
  • Insulin taken by injections or by using an insulin pump
  • Patient education to address problem-solving and coping skills needed to help manage diabetes and its complications
  • Medicines to control cholesterol and blood pressure

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References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basics About Diabetes [last updated 2012 Sept 6; accessed 2014 May 5].
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetes Overview [last updated 2014 Apr 2; accessed 2014 May 5].
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2014 May 5].
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A Report of the Surgeon General. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What It Means to You. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010 [accessed 2014 May 5].
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010 [accessed 2014 May 5].
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes Public Health Resource: Prevent Diabetes [last updated 2012 May 14; accessed 2014 May 5].
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes Public Health Resource: 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet [last updated 2011 May 20; accessed 2014 May 5].

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Bill has diabetes. He quit smoking the day his leg was amputated.

“Having diabetes and being a smoker—my doctors always warned me about the bad things that could happen. Did I listen? No!”

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What Tobacco Free Florida Can and Can’t Do

As a government agency, the Florida Department of Health and the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida cannot institute or advocate for new laws. We do, however, help inform the public about tobacco’s health risks and dangers, and local Tobacco Free Partnerships in each of Florida’s counties work to pass tobacco policies.

While there is no law banning the sale of tobacco in Florida, there has been steady progress made in strengthening youth prevention, raising prices of tobacco, restrictions on marketing, and protecting the public from secondhand smoke. All of these efforts limit the impact of tobacco use. Part of this is accomplished through statewide legislation such as the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act (FCIAA), which prohibits smoking in all enclosed workplaces, and Florida’s $1 state cigarette tax increase in 2009, which contributed to the overall decline in smokers in the state.

There has also been legal action in Florida against the tobacco industry and laws to protect the state’s comprehensive tobacco education and use prevention program. On August 25, 1997, Florida became the second state in the nation to settle a lawsuit against the tobacco industry. The tobacco lawsuits were intended to punish cigarette makers for decades of fraud and racketeering and to help states pay for the Medicaid and other public health expenses to cover sick smokers. Florida was among three other states – Texas, Mississippi and Minnesota – that settled with the tobacco industry before the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998 between the tobacco industry and the other 46 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

In 2006, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment requiring that a percentage of the state’s settlement fund must be used for a comprehensive tobacco education and use prevention program. The funding was used to create Tobacco Free Florida. In 2012, Florida’s adult-smoking rate was at 17.7 percent, well below the national average of 19.6 percent. Further, the smoking rate for high school students in Florida dropped to 8.6 percent in 2013, below the national average of 23.3 percent, and the number of youth who have pledged never to smoke increased from 55 percent in 2006 to 67.7 percent.

Local communities can also strengthen many of their laws. We support these efforts by coordinating with and funding local Tobacco Free Partnerships in every county to provide education on these issues.

If you are interested in helping implement change in your community, we encourage you to get involved with your local Tobacco Free Partnership, which works to make tobacco use less acceptable and tobacco products less accessible to youth. For more information, please visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/getinvolved.

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Fact Sheet: Health Care Providers

Includes facts about the importance of health care provider interventions and how providers can Team Up to help patients quit.

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Florida Teen Wins Top Award Among Youth Advocates Working Against Tobacco

Magi Linscott, a Santa Rosa County high school student and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) youth advocate, was named the National Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. This is the highest award among the country’s top youth advocates working against tobacco.