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Health officials plan to target county’s high smoking rate

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 November 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Health officials set up in the lobby at Medina Memorial Hospital today to share information about the dangers of smoking.

Nola Goodrich-Kresse, a public health educator with the Orleans County Health Department, and Jen Srock, an outreach coordinator for Community Partners with the Orleans Community Health, were at the table as part of the Great American Smokeout.

The jar in the front left represents a year’s worth of tar from smoking that end up in a smoker’s lungs. The other jar shows teeth in tobacco juice.

Orleans County has one of the highest smoking rates for adults in the state. It is one of nine counties with a rate at 25 percent or higher. The state average is 16.9 percent.

Health officials will make reducing the county’s smoking rate a priority, Goodrich-Kresse said.

The county Health Department recently submitted a community health assessment to the state, which includes strategies for combatting tobacco use and other high-risk behaviors. That assessment will be reviewed by the state Department of Health.