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City to present data on decrease in smoking rates and related deaths

Dr. Rex Archer, director of the City of Kansas City, Mo., Health Department, will introduce new information on decreases in smoking rates and deaths from coronary heart disease in Kansas City, Mo., to the City Council’s Public Safety and Neighborhoods Committee on Jan. 7, at 10 a.m. on the 26th floor of City Hall, 414 E. 12th St.

A review of smoking rates in Kansas City and the seven-county region on the Missouri side from 2001 through 2007 shows that the adult smoking rate has decreased more quickly than the statewide rate. During the same time period, the percent of deaths due to coronary heart disease has also decreased more rapidly, both in the region and in the City, than statewide. The Health Commission’s Tobacco Use Reduction Committee, which was formed in 2001 to address the impact of smoking on health in Kansas City, will be presented with the information in their monthly meeting Jan. 9 at 8:15 a.m. at the Health Department, 2400 Troost Ave.

“Based on these trends, we project even greater decreases in the number of deaths attributed to tobacco smoke in 2009 now that we have strengthened the scope of our non-smoking ordinance to include restaurants and bars,” Archer said.

The largest single contributor to these decreases is the combination of protecting non-smokers from environmental tobacco and creating an environment that supports smokers in their attempts to quit.

“We look forward to even more lives saved next year,” said Councilwoman Cathy Jolly, chairwoman of the Public Safety and Neighborhoods Committee.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released similar information Jan. 2 based on a study in Pueblo, Colo., that looked at data from 2002 through 2006. There are now nine separate studies showing that strong smoke-free laws are the most effective and cost-effective way to prevent heart attacks.

Media inquiries about this issue should be directed to Jeff Hershberger, Health Department, (816) 840-2548 (pager).

City News Releases - 2009

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