Another reason to quit

Another reason to quit


On April 1, the federal cigarette tax will increase by 62 cents. This increase should provide yet one more good reason for Ohioans to quit smoking.

According to this year’s U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on the Health Consequences of Smoking, we now know smoking harms virtually every organ in the body. In addition to lung cancer, heart attacks and stroke, cigarette smoking has been found to cause coronary heart disease, ulcers and cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas. However, there is good news — quitting smoking has immediate and long-term health benefits, regardless of your age, or how long and how much you’ve been smoking.

As a physician, I know that making the decision to quit, and sticking to it is hard. Fortunately, today smokers don’t have to rely on willpower alone. Research shows support such as that offered by the Ohio Tobacco Quitline can help smokers significantly increase their chances of quitting successfully. This help may come from family and friends, health care providers, counseling programs or through medication such as the nicotine gum, patches or lozenges.

Ohioans who want to stop smoking can get immediate help by calling the Ohio Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) where they can get free advice and counseling on how to stop, and participate in a free two week nicotine patch program. The Quitline is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Callers may also leave a message 24 hours a day, seven days a week and request a return call at a time that is convenient for them.

Most smokers want to quit and the tax increase may be the impetus for many to finally make a quit attempt. Every smoker deserves the emotional, practical and medical support they need to do so successfully.

ALVIN D. JACKSON, M.D., director

Ohio Department of Health


Here’s a thought: Let’s try to keep the money here


I had a funny thought a couple of months ago, more of a question really: If all the companies that shipped jobs over the border and overseas were to come back to U.S. soil, and if all the companies who buy steel from China and Russia were to suddenly start buying steel from U.S. manufacturers and if the people of this country could find a pair of jeans, likewise, made in the U.S., and so on, how long would this recession continue?

Another question: What if this government, this people, were to use these giant bailout packages as a bargaining chip to convince (not coerce) these companies to bring their plants back to U.S. soil?

I don’t pretend to definitively know the answer, but my guess is that people who find good, living-wage jobs would begin to spend, buying food, clothes and cars and occasionally taking a vacation.

NAFTA failed the people of this country. It’s time to get out of it. This bailout money is your money, my money and the money of those retirees who just lost their health insurance. Time to get value for our buck.