Walk the Memory Mile at Heritage Day Celebration
BENTON – The Polk County Health Council invites you to walk the Memory Mile in honor of a loved one that you may have you have lost due to a smoking/tobacco related condition such as heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.
The Walk will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, prior to the Heritage Day Celebration beginning on the Courthouse Square. There is no fee for the walk but themed T-shirts will be provided to all who register.
Also, a memorial marker with your loved one’s name will be placed on the courthouse lawn throughout the day.
Register online with Joyce.firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Some other facts about smoking include:
• Smoking accounts for about 90 percent of cancer deaths.
• More women die each year from lung cancer than breast cancer.
• Smoking increases the risk for coronary heart disease 2 to 4 times, stroke 2 to 4 times, and of developing lung cancer, 25 times.
• Smoking causes diminished overall health, increased absenteeism from work, and increased health care utilization and cost.
• Smoking can also cause cancer anywhere in your body including bladder, blood, cervix, colon and rectum, esophagus, kidney and ureter, larynx, liver, and oropharynx, pancreas, stomach, trachea, bronchus and lung.
Polk County Health Council is holding the Memory Mile Walk with the tobacco lawsuit settlement money they received this year.
According to Donna Calhoun, chairperson of the Polk County Health Council, “We hope to encourage healthy habits in Polk County with events like this and raise awareness of the consequences of tobacco use in any form.”
The most recent statistics show that 71 percent of Polk County adults do not smoke.
According to Jeannie Bentley, Polk County Health Department director, “We hope to keep increasing the percentage of nonsmokers to reduce the risk of serious health conditions including cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and low birth- weight, premature babies.”
E-cigarettes are a fairly new trend advertised as a safe alternative to smoking. However, secondhand vapor has cancer causing chemicals in it and the nicotine refills aren’t required to be childproof. They come in candy and fruit flavors that appeal to children. One teaspoon of liquid nicotine can be lethal to a child and a smaller amount can cause severe illness that usually requires a trip to the emergency department. A toddler in New York died from drinking an e-cigarette refill and calls to poison control centers have dramatically increased with increasing sales of e-cigarettes.
The Polk County Health Council is a partnership of agencies. Organizations represented on the council are UT Extension Polk County, Coordinated School Health Polk County, Polk County Health Department, People Helping People, Benton Family Health Care and numerous volunteers.
Polk County has many beautiful outdoor areas for hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities and the Health Council hopes to encourage local residents to be outside and active by sponsoring the Memory Mile Walk and promote a healthy, tobacco free lifestyle.
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