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August: Equality Day News Release

Sample News Release

Photo Opportunity

Smoking-Related Disease Is a Full-Blown Epidemic Among Women in (town, city, or state name)

(Coalition name) will celebrate the anniversary of women’s right to vote on August 26, Women’s Equality Day and put a human face on the toll tobacco takes on women in (town, city, or state name). At (name activity or event here), (name of featured speaker or group) will call on the community to prevent and reduce smoking among girls and women at (time) at (location address). “Tobacco advertising has linked women’s liberation with smoking (e.g., "You've come a long way, baby") and connects thinness with cigarettes,” said (coalition chairperson).

According to the 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on the Health Consequences of Smoking, lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as a leading killer of women. The 2004 and 2001 Reports conclude that the increased likelihood of lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and reproductive health problems among female smokers makes tobacco use a serious women's health issue.

"The millions of women who die prematurely from smoking aren't strangers," (local leader) said. "They are our mothers and grandmothers, our friends and neighbors. Smoking cessation can save their lives."

Quitting results in immediate health benefits for both light and heavy smokers, including improvements in breathing and circulation. The increased risk for coronary heart disease and stroke is substantially reduced after 1 or 2 years of not smoking.

When smokers quit, their lungs begin to heal and their risk of lung disease drops. Smoking cessation also improves quality of life and physical functioning. Research shows that counseling, self-help programs, and the use of FDA-approved medications are safe and effective ways to increase quitting. These methods can double a person's chances of quitting for good. Success rates are best when counseling and medications are used together.

Residents of every state can toll-free to 1-800-QUIT-NOW to speak to a cessation counselor. As of 2006, the FDA has approved the following medications as being safe and effective: five nicotine replacement therapies (nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal sprays), Zyban® (bupropion), and Chantix™ (varenicline tartrate).

"I think that it's important to emphasize that it's never too soon or too late to quit smoking," (expert) said.

For more information, call (contact name and telephone number).