The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) joins with the Healthiest State Initiative (HSI) to support the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout this Thursday, November 15. “The goal of the Great American Smokeout - to encourage smokers to quit, even for one day, in hopes it can lead a tobacco-free life - is in line with the goals of IDPH and HSI,” said IDPH Director, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
This month, the Healthiest State Initiative announced its five key areas of focus this coming year:
- Decreasing the number of Iowans who smoke
- Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables to five or more servings daily at least four days a week
- Increasing the number of Iowans who are learning something new or interesting every day
- Increasing the number of Iowans who have visited the dentist in the last 12 months
- Increasing the number of working Iowans who feel their boss treats them like a partner at work
IDPH Director Miller-Meeks will chair the Nutrition work group of HSI. David Vellinga, president and chief executive officer of Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines will chair the Tobacco Use work group. “We look forward to working with HSI and the Tobacco Use work group as part of our continuing efforts to reduce tobacco use in Iowa,” said Miller-Meeks. IDPH just announced a new Web Coach interactive online quit-smoking tool to complement Quitline Iowa, another smoking cessation tool. It’s hoped Iowans participating in the Great American Smokeout will utilize these resource in their efforts.
Iowa currently ranks 16th in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® (WBI), the official measurement tool of the Healthiest State Initiative. The WBI is a comprehensive daily measurement of the nation’s physical, emotional, and social health. Brought to Iowa by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield as part of the Blue Zones Project™ and the Healthiest State Initiative, the WBI is the largest and most complete measurement tool for well-being in existence today. It includes more than 50 questions related to physical, emotional and mental health. “Iowans do well on some aspects of well-being, and not so well on others,” said Healthiest State Initiative board chairperson Ric Jurgens. “The Smokeout is a great opportunity to focus on the area of tobacco use, which is one of our five priority areas for making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.”
For more information on the Great American Smokeout, visit www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/index?gclid=CJfxpfeazLMCFYVFMgodc2oA5g. For information on the Web Coach online quit-smoking tool and Quitline Iowa (1-800-QUIT NOW), visit www.quitnow.net/iowa/. To learn more about the Healthiest State Initiative, visit www.iowahealthieststate.com/.