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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 21, 2009
Jamilia Sherls, MPH, Tobacco Prevention & Control Coordinator, Thurston  County Public Health & Social Services, 360-786-5581 ext. 16966

Thurston County Smoking Rates High, Despite State Decrease

OLYMPIA -- In recent news, Washingtonians were made aware that the state adult cigarette smoking rate has decreased to 15.3%, making Washington the state with the sixth lowest smoking rate in the nation. While this is certainly good news for the state, the adult smoking rate in Thurston County continues to be a public health concern. The smoking rate for Thurston County is 19.2%, a rate that is higher than the state average, according to the State Department of Health’s recent survey.

Thurston County Public Health & Social Services, in collaboration with TOGETHER!, plans to address this high smoking rate through enhanced promotion of the Washington State QuitLine, tobacco compliance checks, and partnering with multi-unit housing managers to develop smoke-free policies for their housing complexes. “I am quite confident that our upcoming efforts will yield a lower adult smoking rate in the next couple of years,” says Jamilia Sherls, Tobacco Prevention & Control Coordinator with Thurston County Public Health & Social Services. “Now is the time for people to take responsibility for their health and quit smoking.” Creating smoke-free environments within the county will make quitting easier. We’re working to ensure that the environments where we live, work, and play are smoke-free and support tobacco cessation,” says Dr. Diana Yu, Thurston County Health Officer. “Our public spaces and workplaces are becoming more smoke-free in order to protect the public’s health from the harmful impacts of secondhand smoke.”

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3