Across the world tobacco use continues to be a major cause of preventable deaths.  Globally, it is attributable to more than 5 million deaths per year.  In the United States, more than 443,000 deaths occur annually or about 1,200 per day (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).  About 365 deaths annually on Guam are due to smoking related diseases, that’s one a day.

U.S. healthcare costs that can be traced to smoking are placed at $96 billion a year.  That works out to $300 for every man, woman and child in the country.  Guam’s share of that $96 billion is about $54 million a year.  That’s $54 million that could be spent on schools, roads, utilities, or any number of things other than treating smoking related illnesses.

The 2010 Surgeon General’s report shows that the tobacco smoke inhaled as well as exposure to second hand smoke, immediately affects the cells in the body which can lead to cancer. 

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of its employees, DPHSS has established THE FOLLOWING POLICY: ALL NEW HIRES MUST BE NON-SMOKERS.  THIS IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.

Department of Public Health and Social Services offers counseling and free Nicotine Replacement Therapies for employees and residents who call the 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) Quitline or signs up at the Quit Now website (www.quitnow.net/guam). The Quitline is a free and confidential service that offers education, counseling, and support for people looking to quit smoking. The Quitline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For more information please contact Mr. Christopher Surla, Health Educator with the Department of Public Health and Social Services, Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at 735-7334 or via email at christopher.surla@dphss.guamdev.com.


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