News and Events

We All Have a Role in Promoting Tobacco Cessation in Our Community
By: Michael Potter, Health Educator Consultant, Columbia County Health Department
March 8, 2018

At the end of every quarter, The Columbia County Tobacco Prevention Newsletter finds its way to a variety of community members, business owners, elected officials, professionals, students, and families with generations of history. While it may be easy to point out the differences in between these factions, I am reminded of James 4:17, which states that “all who understand what is good for themselves and others should act upon it.”

The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation’s work on “Tobacco 21”, addendums to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, and new tobacco enforcement regulations for our local public housing authority residents are actions that will strengthen our efforts without question. However, there is still room for improvement on both sides of the aisle.

A 2007 study of 910 adults who were being screened to become community health influencers found that 90% of participants were motivated to help tobacco users quit. However, only an average of 59% could identify core tobacco cessation intervention concepts, and even less were confident in their own ability to help someone quit tobacco(1). Therefore, understanding the basics of tobacco use, who it effects, and how you can help others is vital to our county’s health:

Just three brief minutes of focused tobacco cessation conversation can greatly increase chances of someone quitting(1). Here are five easy steps you can take to intervene and help others(5):


  1. Campbell, J., Mays, M. Z., Yuan, N. P., & Muramoto, M. L. (2007). Who are health influencers? Characterizing a sample of tobacco cessation interveners. American Journal of Health Behavior, 31(2), 181-192.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Tobacco-related mortality. CDC Fact Sheet-tobacco Related Mortality Smoking and Tobacco Use. Available online:
    tobacco_related_mortality/index. htm (accessed on 1 August 2013)
  3. Garcia, M. C. (2017). Reducing potentially excess deaths from the five leading causes of death in the rural United States. MMWR. Surveillance Summaries, 66.
  4. Foley, K. L., Pockey, J. R., Helme, D. W., Song, E. Y., Stewart, K., Jones, C., ... & Sutfin, E. L. (2012). Integrating evidence-based tobacco cessation interventions in free medical clinics: opportunities and challenges. Health promotion practice, 13(5), 687-695.
  5. Fiore, M. C., Goplerud, E., & Schroeder, S. A. (2012). The Joint Commission's new tobacco-cessation measures—will hospitals do the right thing?. New England Journal of Medicine, 366(13), 1172-1174.