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May 2013

#1 Risk Factor Still

Smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death, illness and impoverishment in many countries. The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. According to the World Health Organization, it kills up to half of its users… nearly 6 million people a year of whom more than 5 million are from direct tobacco use and more than 600 000 are nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke. In fact, one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco and this accounts for one in 10 adult deaths. 

Nearly 80% of the more than one billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest. Tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development.

In some countries, children from poor households are frequently employed in tobacco farming to provide family income. These children are especially vulnerable to “green tobacco sickness”, which is caused by the nicotine that is absorbed through the skin from the handling of wet tobacco leaves.

Because there is a lag of several years between when people start using tobacco and when their health suffers, the epidemic of tobacco-related disease and death has just begun. Yes, there has been good progress in the latest decades so we went from 1 in 3 people smoking to 1 in 5. But there is still much we need to do. Here are some stats from WHO:

  • Tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. If current trends continue, it may cause about one billion deaths in the 21st century.
  • Unchecked, tobacco-related deaths will increase to more than eight million per year by 2030. More than 80% of those deaths will be in low- and middle-income countries.


What you or your church can do? May 31 is World No Tobacco Day! You can do something to help reverse this public health problem. One way is to advocate for higher tobacco taxes. According to WHO research, higher taxes are the most effective way to reduce tobacco use, especially among young people and poor people. Increasing tobacco prices by 10% decreases tobacco consumption by about 4% in high-income countries and by up to 8% in low- and middle-income countries may help. Only 27 countries, representing less than 8% of the world’s population, have tobacco tax rates greater than 75% of the retail price. Tobacco tax revenues are on average 154 times higher than spending on tobacco control, based on available data.

But, another effective way is to work on prevention and help people who want to quit. The Adventist church has been a pioneer for many years in smoking cessation and prevention through 5-days stop smoking plans and more recently through other programs such as Breathe Free. Currently, the Health Ministries department is updating Breathe Free.It will be a wonderful resource when it is ready to be launched next summer. In the meantime, you may still use Breathe Free and order it from the GC Health Ministries department.  You can also find resources for recovery at www.adventistrecovery.org and learn ways to help people move along the 12 steps for recovery by starting a support group in your own church. Share the Unhooked series with friends or show it in your church. (see resources). May God use as you introduce the One who can help people be set free!

Katia Reinert, PHDc, CRNP, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC
Director, Adventist Health Ministries – NAD

Focus on a Spirit Led Revival
Join Seventh-day Adventists around the globe to pray for revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Join us in the “777” prayer, seeking “Revival and Transformation” as 7th-day Adventists praying 7 days a week at 7 o’clock (am or pm) daily, without ceasing until Jesus comes. For more information visit www.revivalandreformation.org  

Reach NAD prayer calendar: 
  • Apr 29-May 5 (Central States Conference)
  • May 6-12 (Dakota Conference)
  • May 6-12 (Minnesota Conference)
  • May 13-19 (Iowa-Missouri)
  • May 20-26 (Kansas-Nebraska)
  • May 27-June2 (Rocky Mountain​)

GREAT HOPE PROJECT  The Great Hope audio recordings are now available online. Downloadable in mp3 format, they can be loaded to your iPod, CDs, iphone, computer, for listening while you are exercising, driving, or working. The Great Hope can be ordered through your local Adventist Book Center (800-765-6955). The price is now 1-199/ .79 ea. and 2,000 or more/ .49 each plus S&H. Join us in the distribution of 3 million copies of The Great Hope in North America. (English, Spanish, and French).

Journey to Wholeness  

by NAD Health Ministries
This resource is a 12-step guide that helps people who struggle with damaging unhealthy behaviors find the path to recovery and victory in Christ.

Health Ministries Resources
  • Adventists InStep for Life (AISFL) is a Division wide health initiative. The website provides information and resources on how your church, school, or healthcare organization can become involved. Motivate yourself, your family and your church to register and report miles of physical activity. Consider volunteering to be your church, school, or hospital coordinator so you can report miles for others. You can watch previous webinars explaining the initiative or register for upcoming webinars at www.adventistsinstepforlife.org.
  • Adventists InStep for Life Mobile Apps are available for download for android and iPhone users. You must first register at the website listed above then download the app (INSTEP or ADVENTIST INSTEP), and start recording your physical activity right on your phone.
  • Unhooked is a new series on how the prevention and recovery from unhealthy habits and damaging addictive behaviors. This 28 part series was developed by Adventist Recovery Ministries (ARMin) and Hope Channel to raise awareness and provide hope for people hurting from these compulsive harmful practices. The series is running weekly at Hope Channel , direct TV channel 368 and streamed live online at www.hopetv.org/unhooked. For more information or to watch a trailer of the series check this website or www.adventistrecovery.org.
  • Mental Health Month May is mental health month and you can access the series ‘Optimizing your Brain Potential” by Neil Nedley, seen during the NYC Health Summit by going to www.ChooseFullLife.org under media. For more resources and training for depression | anxiety go to www.drnedley.com.
  • World NO Tobacco Day Every year, on 31 May, WHO and partners mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. Tobacco kills nearly six million people each year, of which more than 600 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. The theme of this year’s campaign is “Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship”. For more resources go to: http://www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/en/.
  • National Physical Fitness and Sports Month (US) For a toolkit click on http://healthfinder.gov/nho/MayToolkit.aspx.  
  • Health Calendar Emphasis - May
    • Canada: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/calend/index-eng.php
    • USA: http://www.healthfinder.gov/nho/nho.asp#m8
    • May 2012
      • National Physical Fitness and Sports Month (US)

        Celiac Awareness Month (Canada)

        Mental Health Month (US)

        5 - 11 Children’s mental Health Awareness Week (US)

        6 - 12 National Nursing Week (Canada)

        12 Canada Health Day

        29 National Senior Health and Fitness month (US)

        31 (World NO Tobacco Day (US and Canada)

    • Looking Forward (June 2013)
      • Men’s Health Month (US)

        Stroke Awareness Month (Canada)

        2 - 3 National Cancer Survivors Day (US-CA)

        10 - 16 Men’s Health Week  

        27 National HIV Testing Day

NAD Health Ministries

Every year the NAD Health Ministries department recognizes organizations such as Unions, Conferences, schools, churches and hospitals for their unique participation in health initiatives with Adventists InStep for Life awards. The awards are presented during the yearly NAD Health Summit. During the last Summit in New York City 22 organizations were recognized for their participation in 2012. Below is the list of awards by Union – see a complete list at www.AdventistsInStepforLife.org. (Save the date for the next award celebration to will take place in Orlando Florida, on Jan 25, 2014).

Facts with Hope
FACT: In 2011, the prevalence of current tobacco use (all forms) among middle school was 7.1% and among high school students was 23.2%. Because most are not able to break free from the powerful, addicting effects of nicotine, about three out of four will continue to use tobacco in adulthood. In addition, one third of those will die about 13 years earlier than their nonsmoking peers.1
HOPE:  You can help teens and young adults say NO to tobacco. The 2012 Surgeon General’s Report on Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults is a 20-page, easy-to-read illustrated booklet designed to help parents, teachers, policy makers, health care professionals, and other concerned adults understand how they can take a stand to protect young people from the devastating effects of tobacco use. Download a copy at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2012/consumer_booklet/index.htm.
FACT: Although depictions of tobacco use in movies had declined, it has rebounded in recent years. In 2012, there were a total of 2,818 tobacco incidents in top-grossing movies, compared to 1,880 in 2011 and 1,819 in 2010, when the total number of incidents reached its lowest level since 2002. This included 1,155 tobacco incidents in PG-13 movies, which are easily accessible to youth.2
HOPE: In 2012, the Surgeon General concluded that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and smoking initiation among young people. Youth who are heavily exposed to onscreen smoking are approximately 2 to 3 times as likely to begin smoking as youth who are lightly exposed. This may be one reason that God, in His wisdom, told us to focus our minds on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” (Philippians 4:8, NIV)   
FACT: Snus (rhymes with “goose”) is often promoted as a safer tobacco product because the pasteurization process limits some of its toxins and carcinogens. Tobacco companies even claim that snus can help smokers quit. However, snus is as addictive as any other form of tobacco. And research shows that snus is linked to mouth sores, dental cavities, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.3
HOPE: Health experts agree that, while snus may not be as deadly as cigarettes, its use still poses a significant risk to your health. The bottom line is that there is no safe form of tobacco use.
FACT: There could be 3 million fewer young smokers today if success in reducing youth tobacco use that was made between 1997 and 2003 had been sustained. Rates of smokeless tobacco use are also no longer declining, and they appear to be increasing among some groups.4.
HOPE: For more than a century, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has warned its youth and the general public regarding the addictive and health destroying nature of tobacco smoking. Talk to your pastor or health ministries leader today about how your church can make a difference in the area of youth and tobacco.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Current tobacco use among middle and high school students -- United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 61(31), 581-585.
  • McAfee, T. &  Tynan, M. (2012). Smoking in movies: A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention core surveillance indicator. Preventing Chronic Disease 9(November 8, 2012). doi: 10.5888/pcd9.120261
  • DeNoon, D. J. (n.d.). Snus smokeless tobacco: Less harmful than cigarettes, but not safe. WebMD – Smoking Cessation Health Center. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/features/snus-tobacco-health-risks
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012). Fact sheet: Preventing tobacco use among youth and young adults. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/preventing-youth-tobacco-use/factsheet.html


Promises-Promises Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Matt. 26:41, NIV.

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