The Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria has been actively working over the last several years to give all Alexandrians the opportunity to breathe clean and smoke-free air. In our Community Health Improvement Plan, we set an important goal to significantly reduce the proportion of residents who now smoke and reduce the proportion of residents exposed to second-hand smoke by 2019.
So far, we have achieved a lot. Many multi-family residences in Alexandria are smoke-free, our parks and playgrounds are smoke-free, and our restaurants are smoke-free. In fact, the percentage of adults that smoke in Alexandria is lower than the U.S. median, we have the lowest smoking rate among our peer cities and counties, and have already met the federal Healthy People 2020 goal of having 12 percent or fewer adults who are current cigarette smokers. Among our youth, the percentage of students who smoke in Alexandria is lower than national estimates for high-school students.
Despite these accomplishments, there is more work to do, and you can help. If you smoke, please join the Great American Smokeout by making this Thursday, Nov. 16, your Big Quit. Tell your friends and family the good news and call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) to get the support you need to make your big quit successful. If you know someone who smokes, let them know you care about them and that the Great American Smokeout can be the start of a longer, healthier life for them.
Allen Lomax and Jim Scott
Allen Lomax and Jim Scott are the chair and vice chair of the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria. To learn more about the Partnership and get involved, visit www.healthieralexandria.org.