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County to give puffers patches

November 16, 2000

County to give puffers patches



By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer


Washington County is working on a program to supply nicotine patches to smokers trying to quit, Health Officer William Christoffel said Thursday, the day of the annual Great American Smokeout.

The American Cancer Society encourages smokers not to light up during the one-day event in the hope they will quit forever. More people quit smoking on this day than any other day of the year, according to the Cancer Society.

Health officials are waiting for the results of tobacco use and lung cancer rate surveys, which will determine how the money will be distributed and which populations will be targeted, Christoffel said.

Washington County will get an estimated $400,000 a year to fight cancer and an estimated $200,000 a year to curb smoking, Christoffel said. The money is part of an estimated $4 billion Maryland is expected to receive from tobacco companies over the next 25 years.

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In addition to providing nicotine patches, Washington County's plan to curb smoking also will include school-based programs and community education, he said.

In the cancer-fighting arena, Washington County will provide screenings and treatments for colon, rectal and melanoma skin cancers, he said.

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