NOVEMBER 13, 2014, PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) – The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) hosted a webinar Nov. 12, in support of Tobacco Free Living Month.
More than 70 health promotion professionals from the Navy, Air Force, Semper Fit staff and Defense Health Agency representatives dialed-in for the hour-long webinar that focused on reducing the use of tobacco on military installations through counter-marketing efforts.
According to Dr. Mark Long, the Tobacco Free Living program manager at NMCPHC, all military services are keenly interested in exploring new avenues for helping to reduce tobacco use on military installations.
He said a major part of this initiative is helping to increase awareness for the tobacco cessation resources that are available to health care professionals as well as tobacco users.
The webinar speakers addressed new and effective ways that the Air Force, Marine Corps and the military in general are targeting tobacco through various marketing efforts.
“Incentives are important to grab a person’s attention and I was so happy to see the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) ‘Counter Measures Tobacco Cessation’ effort to help out in the promotion of this years’ Great American Smokeout (GASO),” said webinar attendee Paula Pendrick, the health promotions coordinator at Naval Health Clinic (NHC) Cherry Point, N.C. “In addition to our Quit Kits that we normally provide to our beneficiaries here at NHC Cherry Point, the contests to win a free Dell tablet, Fitbits, Nicorette gum and a discount coupon go way beyond our normal efforts and show the support of the MCX in our cessation efforts.”
The webinar is part of a month-long health observance and took place prior to the GASO that will occur on Nov. 20. GASO is observed yearly on the third Thursday in November.
Long attests that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable and premature deaths in this country.
“Results of the 2013 Fleet and Marine Corps Health Risk Assessment indicated that 24 percent of active duty Sailors and 32 percent of Marines indicated they were current smokers, while 9 percent of Sailors and 22 percent of Marines indicated they use smokeless tobacco every day,” said Long. “Research also shows that greater than 60% of tobacco users want to quit.”
Tobacco Free Living is a sub-campaign within NMCPHC’s Health Promotion and Wellness Department that directly supports the Secretary of the Navy’s 21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative and the Department of Defense’s Operation Live Well.
Additional information and resources on tobacco free living are available through the NMCPHC HP Toolbox at: www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/health-promotion/pages/default.aspx www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/health-promotion/tobacco-free-living/pages/tobacco-free-living.aspx.