The use of tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide. It causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and many other health issues in both those people who use tobacco and those who are exposed to secondhand smoke. There are a number of resources available to residents of Carver County who are interested in more information about quitting tobacco, secondhand smoke exposure, electronic delivery devices and options for smoke free multi-unit housing and tobacco free open spaces in Carver County.
Quitting smoking or other forms of tobacco is one of the best things a person can do to improve their health. A number of resources are available free of charge to all Minnesotans.
Anyone in Minnesota can access a free tobacco cessation program called QUITPLAN Services. The program combines counseling and medication to help tobacco users quit. Minnesotans can visit quitplan.com or call 1-888-354-PLAN (7526).
What are electronic delivery devices?
Electronic delivery devices (e-cigarettes) are battery-operated devices that resemble cigarettes, cigars or pipes. These devices are designed to deliver nicotine, flavors and other chemicals and related substances to users in the form of vapor.
For more information about electronic delivery devices, their safety and regulations regarding their use in Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control’s website on electronic cigarettes.
What is secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)?
Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, is a mix of chemicals that results from burning tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, pipes) and from exhaled smoke.
ETS is a known human carcinogen and causes cancer. No level of exposure is safe. Breathing ETS can cause heart disease and lung cancer in adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ETS is the third leading cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking and exposure to radon. In Minnesota, lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and women and the leading cause of cancer death.
ETS is especially hazardous to children. ETS increases the risk for:
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Respiratory illness
- Middle ear disease
- Worsening of asthma
- Low birth weight
To learn more about ETS, how ETS can be prevented, data on ETS and what is being done about ETS in Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s website on Environmental Tobacco Smoke.
Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing
The Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA) prohibits smoking in all common areas of apartment buildings. Under the MCIAA, landlords are allowed to strengthen these rules and adopt a smoke-free policy for the entire building. A number of multi-unit housing properties in Carver County have passed smoke-free policies to protect tenants from the negative health risks of secondhand smoke.
There are options for smoke free housing in Carver County. The smoke free housing directory link is a tool to search smoke-free properties in Carver County and Minnesota.
Tobacco-Free Open Spaces
Carver County has a limited amount of outdoor spaces that prohibit the use of tobacco. Carver County Public Health works with a number of county entities to increase the amount of space that is tobacco free.
- Tobacco use is prohibited on all Carver County beaches, play areas and within 25 feet from Parks and Recreation buildings.
- Many childcare centers have rules that prohibit the use of tobacco and electronic delivery devices on all outdoor property
- 100% of schools, government buildings and hospitals prohibit the use of tobacco on all owned, leased and rented properties
- A number of businesses have rules that prohibit the use of tobacco on all premises in order to create healthy and safe environments for patrons and customers
The tobacco free outdoor recreational area directory lists all counties in Minnesota that have smoke free outdoor recreational policies.