January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

From the NCCC and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

“The United States Congress designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month. During January, the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) and its many local chapters across the country highlight issues related to cervical cancer, HPV disease and the importance of early detection. While NCCC chapters host events throughout the year, January is a month with a special focus as chapters celebrate Cervical Health Awareness Month and work to spread the word in the communities. 
Key points about cervical cancer:
  • More than 4,000 women die of cervical cancer each year.
  • As many as 93% of cervical cancers could be prevented by screening and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.
  • In 2012, 8 million US women had not been screened as recommended in the last 5 years.
  • Every visit to doctors and nurses is an opportunity to prevent cervical cancer.
To increase cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccine uptake, doctors, nurses, and health systems can:
  • Help women understand what screening tests are best for them and when they should get tested.
  • Screen or refer all women as recommended at any visit.
  • Make sure patients get screening results and the right follow-up care quickly.
  • Use reminder-recall systems to help doctors, nurses, and patients remember when screening and HPV vaccination are due.
  • Strongly recommend that preteens and teens get vaccinated against HPV.”



Quitsmart: Free Opportunity to help you quit smoking


For the first time, the Chatham County Public Health Department is offering free tobacco cessation classes beginning in January to both Chatham County residents and Chatham County employees. If your New Year’s resolution is to quit using tobacco, don’t miss this opportunity to receive personal instruction from experienced staff.

Last year’s classes were a big success in helping several individQuit Smart January 2015 Group Session Information Flyer (General Public) update 1.12.15uals kick the habit for good. Participants will receive a free QuitSmart Stop Smoking Kit and support from fellow program attendees during the three sessions.

Want to learn more? Join us on Wednesday, January 21, at 5:30 pm at the Central Carolina Community College Campus in Pittsboro, in the Main Administrative building, Conference Room #1. Please contact Jennifer Park by email at jennifer.park@chathamnc.org or 919-545-8444 to register. Space is limited, so call or email now to reserve your spot.


National Report: North Carolina Ranks 47th in Protecting Kids from Tobacco

From the NC Division of Public Health

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 11, 2014) – North Carolina ranks 47th in the country in funding programs that prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a national report released today by a coalition of public health organizations.

The report challenges states to do more by shining the spotlight on Florida, which has cut its high school smoking rate to a record low 7.5 percent. The report details the lives and health care dollars each state could save if it brought its teen smoking rate down to Florida’s.

If North Carolina reduced its high school smoking rate from the current 15 percent to 7.5 percent, it would prevent 215,500 kids from becoming adult smokers, saving 76,000 lives and $3.8 billion in future health care costs. Today in North Carolina, tobacco annually claims 14,200 lives and costs the state $3.8 billion in health care bills.

Other key findings for North Carolina include:

  • North Carolina spends $1.2 million per year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, which is 1.2 percent of the $99.3 million recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • North Carolina will collect $422.4 million in revenue this year from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes but will spend only 0.3 percent of the money on tobacco prevention programs.
  • Tobacco companies spend $349.8 million per year to market their products in North Carolina – 291 times what the state spends on tobacco prevention.

Today’s report, titled “Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 16 Years Later,” was released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.

State funding for North Carolina’s tobacco prevention program was cut from $17.3 million in 2012 to zero in 2013. While North Carolina has provided $1.2 million per year in the past two years, this amount is barely one percent of what the CDC recommends.

“North Carolina is putting its kids at risk and costing taxpayers money by refusing to properly fund tobacco prevention programs that are proven to save lives and health care dollars,” said Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Florida’s remarkable progress shows it is within our reach to create a tobacco-free generation. But we need elected leaders in North Carolina to wake up and increase funding for proven tobacco prevention programs.”

Nationally, the report finds that:

  • Most states fail to adequately fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs. The states will collect $25.6 billion this year from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes but will spend only 1.9 percent of it ($490.4 million) on tobacco prevention programs.
  • States are falling woefully short of the CDC’s recommended funding levels for tobacco prevention programs. Altogether, the states budgeted just 14.8 percent of the $3.3 billion the CDC recommends. Only two states – Alaska and North Dakota – are funding tobacco prevention programs at CDC-recommended levels.

Evidence shows tobacco prevention and cessation programs work to reduce smoking, save lives and save money. One study found that during the first 10 years of its tobacco prevention program, the state of Washington saved more than $5 in tobacco-related hospitalization costs for every $1 spent on the program.

Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 people and costing the nation at least $289 billion in health care bills and lost productivity each year.

The full report and state-specific information can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org/statereport.


Free Quitsmart Classes to be offered to Chatham residents

Are you ready to quit smoking or using tobacco?

For the first time, the Chatham County Public Health Department is offering free tobacco cessation classes beginning in January to both county residents andqsmart_red2sm county employees. If your new year’s resolution is to quit using tobacco, don’t miss this opportunity to receive personal instruction from experienced staff to help you. Last year’s classes were a big success, helping several county employees kick the habit for good.

Participants will receive a free QuitSmart Stop Smoking Kit and support from fellow program attendees who are in the same boat during the three sessions.

Want to learn more? Join us on Wednesday, January 21st at 5:30 pm at the Central Carolina Community College Campus, in the main administrative building, conference room #1. Contact Anna Stormzand by email at anna.stormzand@chathamnc.org to sign up.


10th Annual 5K Reindeer Run Draws Record Crowd

For the 10th year, the Active Chatham 5K Reindeer Run/Walk brought runners from across the region to Pittsboro for a chance to get in the holiday spirit andIMG_6148 burn some calories in advance of the feasts to come later this month. The race, which took place on Saturday, drew runners of all ages and speeds. In total, 395 participants finished the 5K, the highest turnout in the race’s history. Over 50 volunteers worked hard to make the event a success.

Dylan Mathews took first place

Dylan Mathews took first place

Finishing in 19 minutes and 3 seconds, Dylan Mathews of Pittsboro took first place overall. Rounding out the top three were Clint Bryan and Kevin Doyle. In the female bracket, Bri Gaal of Morrisville was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 20:35. Paula Anstrom and Jennifer Parks, both of Pittsboro, finished second and third, respectively. The team “Nice Antlers,”made up of Paula Anstrom and teammates Carl Anstrom and Jason Figge, took first place among teams.

Following the race, over 35 children and their parents participated in Rudolph’s Family Fun Run.  Working their way through the CCCC THANKS trail, participants completed three challenges along the way, including acting like various animals. Each child who participated received a medal.

Thank you to all of those who made the event a success, including race organizers, volunteers, and, of course, the runnIMG_6542ers and walkers. Active Chatham, a health department sponsored coalition of community volunteers that works to highlight the importance of physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, organized the event in collaboration with the Chatham County Partnership for Children. All proceeds from the race are used to enhance or increase access to parks, trails, playgrounds, or sidewalks and programs that promote physically active lifestyles.

For full results, please visit www.chathamnc.org/reindeerrun.