American Lung Association and Anthem Partnering to Help Coloradans Quit Smoking, Improve Lung Health, Fight Lung Disease
(January 2, 2018) -
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The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and the American Lung Association in Colorado are partnering in many ways to help Coloradans quit smoking, improve lung health through exercise and fight lung disease in the new year.
Beginning in January the two organizations will offer smoking cessation support to residents of public housing. And in March, Anthem will be the title sponsor the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb in Denver, which raises money and awareness for lung disease.
Through the Smoking Cessation for Low Income Housing Residents initiative, the American Lung Association will work with Public Housing Agencies and other local partners to provide smokers who are ready to quit with access to proven-effective tobacco cessation services such as Freedom From Smoking®. This support comes in advance of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) smokefree housing rule requiring all public housing to be smokefree by July 31, 2018.
“While we applaud the new smokefree policy to protect the thousands of Colorado’s public housing residents from secondhand smoke, we also understand that quitting smoking can be difficult for those residents that smoke,” said Bob Doyle, of the American Lung Association in Colorado. “We are proud to team with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and local organizations to provide access to free quit smoking counseling and support – which is key to helping individuals overcome smoking addiction.”
Every year in the U.S., more than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, making it the leading cause of preventable death in this country. Smoking can cause or worsen numerous diseases and conditions, including lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and more. The nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive, which is part of why it can be so tough to quit smoking. On average, it takes a tobacco user eight to 11 quit attempts before they are smokefree for good.
“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S. and more than 70 percent of smokers want to quit but just don’t know how to start that process,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kraft, medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado. “Our partnership with the American Lung Association will offer quit smoking guidance, support our state’s lung health and help prevent tobacco-related illnesses.”
The American Lung Association will work with community partners to bring proven-effective tobacco cessation programs such as Freedom From Smoking® which has helped more than one million smokers quit. The Lung Association’s quit smoking program is offered in person, online and by phone and includes content on building a quit plan, information on medications that can aid quitting smoking, lifestyle changes that support quitting smoking, how to manage stress and how to overcome relapse and become smokefree for good.
Additionally, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation will be a main sponsor for Fight For Air Climb – Denver, which is in its 12th year. This unique road race sends participants 56 floors up the Republic Plaza while raising money for lung disease education, advocacy and research.
To learn more about how to quit smoking, call the Lung Association’s toll-free Lung Helpline 1-800-LUNGUSA, or learn more about Freedom From Smoking® at Lung.org/ffs. For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, tobacco use and tobacco policies, contact the American Lung Association in Colorado at Heather.Mangan@Lung.org or 312-801-7631.
About the American Lung Association in Colorado
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit the newly redesigned website: Lung.org.