Advocating for Healthier Men and Communities All Year Long

June 30, 2015

Men’s Health Month is an annual opportunity to promote and encourage the lifelong health and wellness of men in Georgia.

Before this observance comes to a close, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) would like to encourage men to follow positive health behaviors all year long – beginning with quitting tobacco use for a longer and healthier life.

According to DPH’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey data, tobacco use and its negative health effects are most prominent among Georgia’s male demographic.

In Georgia, adult men report higher uses of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. They also die from tobacco-related illness and chronic conditions – such as cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease – at higher rates than women.

While these conditions develop from a variety of factors, tobacco use is one of the leading health behaviors that can potentially cause their onset.

Quitting tobacco can significantly improve your risks for developing tobacco-related illnesses. In fact, your body will benefit from not smoking in only a few minutes. After one to five years of stopping tobacco use, risks for developing conditions such as heart disease and mouth, throat and bladder cancer is cut in half.

The road to a healthier life requires hard work, but having a plan and proper support system makes it possible to overcome nicotine addiction and reap the benefits of a tobacco-free life. With just a few easy steps, men can set themselves on a path to success and a healthier life far beyond Men’s Health Month.

Taking the first step towards a tobacco-free life is easy – set a quit date. Committing to better health can begin by simply designating a day to begin your journey. 

Collaborate with your physician to create a tobacco cessation plan catered to your specific health needs, document your tobacco use triggers and learn how your health history may impact your quit attempt. This relationship will be one of the most important in your efforts to combat a nicotine addiction.

Seek support when you need it by calling the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line (GTQL) at 1-877-270-STOP (877-270-7867). GTQL is a free and confidential service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week that provides access to nicotine replacement therapy and counselors to support you during your quit attempt.

Finally, create a support system by telling your family and friends about your quit attempt. Any journey is life can be made easier with the support of a community. Talk with the people closest to you to help them understand why you’re quitting tobacco and how they can help you be successful in your new health endeavor.

As we continue to celebrate the valuable role men play in Georgia’s communities statewide, it’s important we all work together to advance men’s health by advocating for and supporting a tobacco-free life.

You can accomplish this goal by prohibiting the use of tobacco in homes and community venues, and educating yourself and those around you about the health impacts of tobacco use.

Together, we can all foster a healthier generation of men and communities in Georgia. If you’re thinking about quitting tobacco or want to learn more about creating a tobacco-free community, visit the Georgia Tobacco Use Prevention Program online at for more information. 

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