The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and LiveWell Lawrence are looking for community members to join a new work group that will promote tobacco use prevention and cessation.
The group, called Tobacco-Free Living, is looking for about 20 people from diverse backgrounds to volunteer by Jan. 1, according to Karrey Britt, a spokeswoman for the health department. She said the group would welcome former smokers, health care and mental health professionals, school officials and others.
LiveWell Lawrence, coordinated by the health department, is a coalition of more than 100 community partners that focus on promoting healthy lifestyles.
Tobacco-Free Living is the latest work group to be formed by LiveWell Lawrence. The four others concentrate on the environment, healthy workplaces, kids and food.
According to a statement from the health department, about 3,900 Kansans die from smoking-related diseases each year, while 290 die from secondhand smoke.
Those interesting in joining Tobacco-Free Living are asked to contact Charlie Bryan, at 785-843-3060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Britt said the group is likely to meet once every other month, but ultimately its members will determine meeting times and goals.
Additionally, to mark the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout on Thursday, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department is encouraging smokers to drop the habit.
Smokers can use the Kansas Tobacco Quitline, at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or KSQuit.org, for assistance. The program provides free, private counseling 24 hours a day.