By Tammi Meissner, Health Educator, SEARHC
“On December 10, 2015, my grandson was born. On January 24, 2016 I went to the ER with the flu after fighting pneumonia for most of December. The decades of smoking made my immune system weak and my lungs compromised which also led to my severe asthma. When I ended up in the ER, I decided that I didn’t want to be a Grandma who had to drag around an oxygen tank to breathe. Since quitting tobacco my overall health has improved. I can breathe easier, the smokers cough is gone and I rarely use an inhaler for my asthma. I taste more, I don’t stink like smoke and most important, I will be around longer to see my grandson grow up. Also, now I can spoil my grandson with the money I save on from not buying cigarettes and the extra time I have! On January 24, 2017, i will be celebrating my one year quit anniversary.”
American Indians and Alaska Natives suffer from much higher rates of asthma than any other ethnic group. The incidence of asthma among American Indian and Alaska Native children is 20% higher than any other ethnic group and AmericanIndian/Alaska Native adults are 60% more likely to be diagnosed with the asthma compared to adults in other ethnic groups.
For free support to quit tobacco, call or enroll online with Alaska’s Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or the American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program at 1-855-372-0037.