World No Tobacco Day – May 31st

Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.1 This year’s focus for World No Tobacco Day is “Tobacco and Lung Health”. The campaign will increase awareness on the negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease and the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people.

How Tobacco Affects People’s Lung Health

There are multiple ways in which tobacco can impact an individual’s lung health, including:

  • Lung Cancer: Tobacco smoke is a toxic mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. Many are poisons. At least 70 are known to cause cancer in people or animals.2
  • Chronic Respiratory Disease: Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition where the build-up of pus-filled mucus in the lungs results in a painful cough and agonising breathing difficulties.1
  • Life-Course: If you smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke when you’re pregnant, your baby is exposed to harmful chemicals too. This may lead to many serious health problems, including: Miscarriage, premature birth (born not fully developed), lower birth weight than expected (possibly meaning a less healthy baby), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and learning problems and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).3
  • Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis (TB) damages the lungs and reduces lung function, which is further exacerbated by tobacco smoking. About one quarter of the world’s population has latent TB, placing them at risk of developing the active disease.1

What Changes Can Be Made?

The WHO encourages governments worldwide to protect people from the harms of tobacco. Their recommendations include:

  • The creation of smoke-free public places, workplaces, and public transportation
  • Help for people who choose to quit tobacco, such as toll-free quit lines
  • Implementation of plain packaging and/or prominent and graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging
  • Launching effective anti-tobacco mass media campaigns that educate the public about the harms of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure
  • Enforcement of comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship
  • Increased taxes on tobacco products to make them less affordable

Do e-cigarettes or vapes have tobacco?

They are not burned tobacco products, but they do pose health risks. Know the risks.

Tria Health and Tobacco Cessation

For employers that offer Tria Health’s Tobacco Cessation Program, Tria provides free confidential counseling with a clinical pharmacist. If you ready to quit smoking, Tria Health’s pharmacist will assist you in managing your medications and finding a treatment plan that works for you.

Have any questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2019/05/31/default-calendar/world-no-tobacco-day
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/risk_factors.htm
  3. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/tobacco/Pages/Dangers-of-Secondhand-Smoke.aspx

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

What Do You Need to Know? 

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women. In fact, 1 in 8 women could develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

The World Health Organization reports that “early detection in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.” Make sure that you are practicing the recommended steps for early detection:

  1. Breast self-awareness
  2. Well-Woman exams
  3. Mammograms

How Can You Lower Your Lifestyle-Related Breast Cancer Risk Factors?

While there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, there are some risk factors that can be changed and may lower your risk of developing breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society reports that “a risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease, such as breast cancer. But having a risk factor, or even many, does NOT meant that you are sure to get the disease.”

Certain breast cancer risk factors are related to lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise. What can you do to decrease your risk factors?

  • Limit Alcohol Consumption

Drinking alcohol is linked to increased risks of breast cancer. “Compared with non-drinkers, women who have 1 alcoholic drink a day have a very small increase in risk. Those who have 2-3 drinks a day have approximately a 20% higher risk compared to women who don’t drink all.” Excessive alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of other cancers also. The American Cancer Society recommends that women who drink have no more than 1 drink per day.

  • Get to and Stay at a Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese after menopause may increase breast cancer risk. “After menopause, most of a woman’s estrogen comes from fat tissue. Having more fat tissue after menopause can raise estrogen levels and increase your risks.”

  • Be Physically Active

Exactly how physical activity might reduce breast cancer risk isn’t clear, but it may be due to its effects on body weight, inflammation, hormones and energy balance. “The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week.”

  • Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Most studies of American women have not found a link between breast cancer and fat in the diet. However, studies have shown that breast cancer is less common in countries where the diet is low in total fat, polyunsaturated fat, and saturated fat. High-fat diets can lead to being overweight or obese, which is a known risk factor of breast cancer.

How can you help?

Money posted an article on September 29, 2017 outlining different ways to give, outlining who you’re trying to help and shows explanations regarding where the money goes. The article identified the “five best breast cancer charities where you can feel confident that your dollars will be put to good use funding prevention research, education, and patient support.” Not to mention, by giving directly to a charity, you get to report the tax-deductible contribution.