HERKIMER — A recent survey of Herkimer County adults on behalf of BRiDGES Tobacco Prevention shows support for policies that would restrict tobacco sales, marketing and secondhand smoke exposure.
According to the survey, 82 percent feel smoking should be prohibited at public playgrounds. This included 78 percent of those surveyed who identified as current smokers.
The survey also showed 80 percent of those surveyed felt smoking should be prohibited in entrance ways of public buildings and workplaces, including 61 percent of current smokers. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed feel the sale of tobacco products in stores within walking distance of schools should be prohibited, including 57 percent of current smokers.
The data is intended to be used by BRiDGES Tobacco Prevention to plan future initiatives and educate the public and decision-makers regarding tobacco-related issues, as well as used to evaluate and assess impact and effectiveness of past initiatives.
The survey used a random sampling of landline and cellular phones for adult residents in Herkimer County. The survey included telephone interviews of 401 adults completed during the month of June. The survey instrument was constructed with approximately 30 survey questions, organized in seven separate sections of tobacco-related attitude, opinion and behavior survey items.
Reality Check and Herkimer County HealthNet representatives gathered at the Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday to spread information about tobacco prevention. The event coincided with the Great American Smokeout observed nationwide on Thursday.
According to the American Cancer Society website, its Great American Smokeout is held the third Thursday of November to “Encourage someone you know to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day.”
The website states that “By quitting — even for 1 day — smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.” For more information, go to https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html.
Elyse Enea, HealthNet program coordinator, said HealthNet will have a free smoking cessation program that will include three sessions. According to its Facebook page, HealthNet’s “Freshstart program is designed to help people plan a successful quit attempt by providing essential information, skills for coping with cravings and group support.” The group will meet at Little Falls Hospital. Those looking for more information should contact Enea at 315-867-1552.
For more information about the local Reality Check chapter and the full survey results, go to https://www.realitycheckcny.org/