By Edna Ramirez
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Tulare County has the highest COVID-19 rates in the Central Valley, with over 757 cases as of Tuesday, May 5. Data from 2019 by the California Department of Public Health shows a smoking rate of 10.4% in Tulare County.
The Centers for Disease Control says those who have serious underlying medical conditions—including a compromised immune system—might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and it lists smoking among the conditions that can make someone immunocompromised.
Now may be a good time to quit smoking. Chances of successfully quitting increase with help. The California Smokers’ Helpline (1-800-662-8887) is providing free nicotine patches.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is providing health education and resources to support people living tobacco-free lives and addressing tobacco-related health disparities in six counties: Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Madera, Merced, and Mariposa.
ACS CAN is partnering with community agencies to help with smoking prevention efforts, including advocating for city-wide smoke-free policies for apartments and smoke-free policies for health care facilities and community colleges.
This crisis might provide people motivation to quit and we should do everything we can to help those who choose to quit to succeed. For more information, please contact [email protected].
Edna Ramirez is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).