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Teens Who Don’t…Encourages Peers to Quit Smoking to Reverse Poor Health Consequences

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Call 1-800-Quit Now (1-800-784-8669) to Get Help

Washington, DC - The District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health  and Teens Who Don’t… will mark World No Tobacco Day 2014 by encouraging teens who smoke to quit smoking to reverse the early health consequences of smoking.   Teens Who Don’t (DC Tobacco Youth Coalition) is a youth leadership program that educates their peers about the dangers of tobacco and trains youth advocates in tobacco prevention.

While smoking rates among American adults and teens are less than half what they were in 1964,  smokers today have a greater risk of developing lung cancer than did smokers in 1964.  In the District, about 12.5% of all high school students smoke.  Earlier this year, the Surgeon General in his annual report on smoking projected that 5.6 million Americans younger than 18 years of age will die prematurely from smoking-related illness if smoking persists at the current rate among young adults.   In the District of Columbia, that represents about 7,000 children alive today who will die prematurely because of smoking. 

Teens Who Don’t… will host an educational program called, “Smoking Affects Every Part of the Body”,  from 4:15 pm to 5:00 pm on Thursday, May 29, 2014.  The event will take place at the District of Columbia Department of Health, 899 North Capitol Street, NE, in the Fourth Floor Conference Room.

Research shows that the body begins to heal itself as soon as the last cigarette is smoked. After twenty minutes, the heart rate and blood pressure drop.  In two weeks, the lungs begin to work better.  After five years, the risk of stroke goes down, and after 15 years of not smoking, the risk of heart disease is that of a nonsmoker.

“World No Tobacco Day is another opportunity to encourage youth to remain smoke-free.   Teens Who Don’t… plays an important role in combating the tobacco industry’s marketing influences”,  said Stephen Baron, Director of the Department of Behavioral Health. 

The Department of Behavioral Health offers support that can increase the chances of quitting and staying quit.   Call 1-800-Quit Now (1-800-784-8669) or Spanish-speaking callers can call (202) 333-4488.   Certified cessation counselors are available 24 hours a day to talk about a plan to quit or how to help a family member or friend quit.   In addition, nicotine replacement patches or lozenges are available to callers 18 years or older.   For more information about available smoking prevention and cessation, go to, and click on Addiction Prevention Recovery Administration.    

The World Health Organization (WHO) started World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw attention to the worldwide tobacco use epidemic and the adverse health consequences of smoking.  Every year on May 31, WHO and its partners worldwide mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for 10% of adult deaths worldwide.