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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
June 23, 2006

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
DHSS
(609) 984-7160
Fleishman-Hillard: Judy Welage
(212) 453-2478


 
MEDIA ADVISORY: New Jersey's Smoke-Free Air Act Removes Cloud of 50 Carcinogens from Workplaces; Surgeon General's Report on Secondhand Smoke Further Documents the Risks and Reinforces the Benefits of the Smoking Ban


 

WHAT:     On Tuesday, June 27th Surgeon General, Richard Carmona, M.D. will issue a new Report on tobacco: The Health Effects of Involuntary Smoking.

This report builds on the findings of the 1979, 1982, and 1986 Surgeon General’s reports on secondhand smoke and will provide additional documentation of the serious risks that exposure to secondhand smoke poses, including:

§        Numbers of lung cancer deaths

§        Numbers of heart attack and stroke deaths

§        Impact on children

§        Documentation of toxins that pose the risk

Coming on the heels of the two-month anniversary of New Jersey’s indoor smoking ban, this report provides more scientific evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke causes serious illnesses and deaths.

 

 

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:  

              n   New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

Commissioner, Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D. can discuss what these findings mean for New Jersey and how New Jerseyans are responding to the smoking ban.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AVAILABLE:

New Jersey-specific data available on the following topics: (See attached data highlights with more information or request full review of data.)

§      Incidence of secondhand smoke-related disease in New Jersey.

§      Exposure to secondhand smoke.

§      Public opinion about secondhand smoke and smoke-free air.

§      Number of smokers motivated to quit smoking in response to ban on secondhand smoke.

Secondhand Smoke in New Jersey

Highlights

Following is a sampling of the types of data available from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS). More information on the sources of the data and additional detail about these topics are available on request.

Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke in New Jersey

§         Lung cancer: 4,960 new cases of lung cancer and 4,620 deaths in the state.

§         The American Cancer Society estimates that as many as 90% of all lung cancer cases are attributable to smoking.  Some of the remaining cases are due to secondhand smoke.

·         The 2006 Surgeon General’s report is expected to document lung cancer deaths due to secondhand smoke.

§         Heart attacks & strokes: 1,050 to 1,860 heart attack and stroke deaths annually in New Jersey are estimated to be associated with secondhand smoke.

·         The 2006 Surgeon General’s report is expected to document heart attack and stroke deaths due to secondhand smoke.

§         Childhood asthma: 182,618 New Jersey children have asthma, which can be caused or aggravated by secondhand smoke.

·         The 2006 Surgeon General’s report is expected to document health effects of secondhand smoke on children.

Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in New Jersey

§         From the 2005 Independent Evaluation of the New Jersey Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program:

·         New Jersey adults who consider second hand smoke to be harmful   93.4%.

·         Adults who support smoke-free air at home to protect their families   87.9%.

·         Children still exposed to secondhand smoke at home – 727,650.

Support for Smoke-Free Air

§         Several data sources document solid support among New Jerseyans for smoke-free air.

·         The Independent Evaluation of the New Jersey Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program cited the NJDHSS 2005 Adult Tobacco Survey:  75% support smoke-free workplaces.

·         Preliminary data from the NJDHSS 2006 Adult Tobacco Survey: 70.5% believe smoking should not be allowed in restaurants.

·         A 2006 Medical Society of New Jersey Opinion Poll of Adults:  85% believe that workers, including restaurant and bar workers, should be protected from secondhand smoke in the workplace.

§         An NJDHSS internet poll of smokers in March 2006: 58.8% will go to restaurants and bars as much or more than they did before the indoor smoking ban.

The Smoke-Free Air Act Is an Incentive to Quit Smoking

§         Both New Jersey Quitline (1-866-NJ-STOPS) and NJ QuitNet® (www.NJ.QuitNet.com) experienced significant increases calls and visits since passage of the Smoke-Free Air Act in January.

·         NJ Quitline: Calls more than tripled from January through May 2006 over the same period in 2005.

·         NJ QuitNet: Visitors increased by 25% from January through May 2006 over the same period in 2005.

 
 
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