Public Housing Going Smokefree: American Lung Association in Indiana to Offer Quit Smoking Support to Residents
(November 28, 2017) -
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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, the American Lung Association in Indiana, with support from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, will offer quit smoking support for residents. Through the Smoking Cessation for Low Income Housing Residents initiative, the Lung Association will work with Public Housing Agencies and other local partners to provide smokers wanting to quit access to proven-effective tobacco cessation services such as Freedom From Smoking®.
“While we applaud the new smokefree policy to protect the thousands of ’s public housing residents from secondhand smoke, we also understand that quitting smoking can be difficult for those residents that smoke,” said Tanya Husain, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Indiana. “We are proud to partner with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and local organization 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.
“As an organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our communities, we want to provide help and support for people who want to quit smoking,” said Kristen Metzger, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicaid Plan President. “We are proud of our partnership with the American Lung Association and we believe this program will serve as the first step in a process of offering guidance and support that helps people quit smoking and aligns with our state’s efforts to 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 over 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, 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.
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 Indiana at Jill.thompson@Lung.org or 312-940-7001.
About the American Lung Association
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: Lung.org.
About the Anthem Foundation
The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Anthem Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of Anthem, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Anthem Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Anthem Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at http://anthemfoundation.tumblr.com.