To raise awareness on the environmental impact of tobacco, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the 2022 global campaign for World No Tobacco Day on May 31 – “Tobacco: Threat to our environment.”
Many people know that smoking is harmful to one’s health. But here are some lesser-known facts about tobacco use from the WHO website:
- Smokers have a greater risk of developing a severe case and dying from COVID-19
- Over 1 million people worldwide die every year from exposure to secondhand smoke and non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke are at higher risk of developing lung cancer.
- WalletHub found that smokers burn through an average of $1.4 million in personal costs, including spending on cigarettes, medical expenses and lower wages brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Cigarette butts are among the most discarded piece of waste globally and are the most frequent item of litter picked up on beaches and water edges worldwide. Furthermore, hazardous substances have been identified in cigarette butts, including arsenic, lead, nicotine and formaldehyde. These substances are leached from discarded butts and continue polluting aquatic environments and soil.
- Tobacco smoke contains the three main greenhouse gases of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides, contributing to air pollution and accelerating global warming.
Consequently, quitting smoking is not only about the smokers’ health but it is also an action to protect others and the environment. The good news is that there is help available for people who want to quit smoking. The ASQ is a free, evidence-based quitting smoking service funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It offers quit smoking services to the tobacco users who speak Cantonese and Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese in the U.S. Even more, most smokers qualify for a free two-week supply of nicotine patches after completing the enrollment.
You can contact ASQ to discuss your journey to quit smoking! Anyone can connect with us via text, online registration and phone to get advice on quitting. All the information will be kept confidential, and the service is free.
Tobacco users can text one of these in-language key phrase 戒煙/戒烟/금연/Bỏ hút thuốc to 66819 to receive Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese texts each day during the first vital weeks of quitting from the ASQ. The messages are tailored to help at critical points along the way, including practical tips for quitting and for staying quit. You can also text questions and an advisor will respond to your message accordingly. You can opt out at any time by texting STOP to 66819. Your phone carrier’s message rates may apply.
- Online Registration
You can also enroll online at www.asiansmokersquitline.org and reading materials will be emailed to you after the registration. The quit advisors will also contact you to see if you are eligible for a free two-week supply of nicotine patches after completing the online enrollment with ASQ.
The ASQ is not just for tobacco users. We also welcome family or friends of tobacco users to contact the ASQ to get tips from a professional quit tobacco use advisor on how to help others to quit.
If you call during the operation hours, you can speak with one of the Chinese-, Korean- or Vietnamese-speaking quit advisors.
ASQ is operated by the Asian Smokers’ Quitline (ASQ) and funded by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ASQ provides FREE evidence-based smoking cessation services in Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese to Asian communities in the U.S. and eligible smokers can receive a free two-week supply of nicotine patches. Studies have shown that smokers who enroll in ASQ services double their chances of quitting successfully.
ASQ opens Monday through Friday, 7am to 9pm Pacific Time (10am – Midnight Eastern Time). To enroll, call or register online today!
Mandarin & Cantonese
To learn more about ASQ, visit www.asiansmokersquitline.org/