Smoking and Tobacco
Quitting smoking isn't easy. It takes time. And a plan. You don't have to stop smoking in one day. Start with day one. Let the Great American Smokeout event on November 15 be your day to start your journey toward a smoke-free life. You'll be joining thousands of smokers across the country in taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing your cancer risk.
Smoking is the most preventable cause of disease, disability and death in Missouri. Nearly 11,000 Missourians die every year from tobacco-related illnesses, including lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. More than 1,100 additional deaths are caused by exposure to secondhand smoke every year.
Tobacco use also creates a significant economic burden in Missouri. Approximately $3 billion is spent every year in Missouri to treat smoking-related illnesses.
Missouri is in the top ten states for adult tobacco use with approximately 20.2 percent of adults, and 9.2 percent of high school students who smoke. Smoking rates are also high among pregnant women in Missouri. Approximately one of every six pregnant women smokes, a rate significantly higher than the national average. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk for pre-term delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Missouri’s comprehensive tobacco control initiatives include efforts to create community smoke free air laws, youth tobacco use prevention, tobacco cessation assistance, and education and awareness through media.
Missouri offers free help to smokers who want to quit using tobacco. The Missouri Tobacco Quitline provides counseling, information, and referrals. The Quitline number is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
By July 30, 2018, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) required all HUD residences and common areas to be protected by a smoke-free policy. The policy must include:
- Cigarettes and cigars cannot be smoked in buildings on HUD properties, including offices, residences, and common areas, or within 25 feet of any buildings on HUD property.
- Although electronic cigarettes are not required to be included in the policy, management of public housing authorities may also prohibit the use of these products in their facilities.
For those that manage public housing authorities, please review the following toolkit for information and resources to assist with the implementation and enforcement of the policy.