Letter to the editor: We can make future where no Montana kids smoke

In recent Montana adult tobacco surveys by the Department of Public Health and Human Services, it was learned that nearly two in five low-income Montanans smoke.

Considering the cost of cigarettes and lost wages due to illness or death caused by smoking, the additional financial burden of tobacco addiction is staggering.

One of the goals for the Gallatin County Tobacco Use Prevention Program includes an outreach to specific population groups that include pregnant women and low-income families.



Our key strategies:
* Increase the duration and intensity of public awareness campaigns for women of childbearing age (18 to 44 years old) that warn about the dangers of smoking during pregnancy.
* Provide information to Medicaid beneficiaries about the free services and low-cost medications offered by the Montana Tobacco Quit Line and the Montana Medicaid program.
* Educate and train owners and managers of rent-restricted multi-unit housing facilities (non-public housing authorities) about developing and implementing smokefree policies to protect residents from secondhand smoke.
* Offer training to home health care nurses and public health nurses on how to provide brief cessation interventions in order to increase the number of nurses that can provide this service for their clients.
* Provide tobacco use prevention resources and technical assistance to Head Start programs.
With your continued support of the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program and community-based programs like the Gallatin County Tobacco Use Prevention Program, Montana will have a future where no children will ever start to use tobacco products and secondhand smoke exposure will be eliminated.

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