Eau Claire (WQOW)- The American Lung Association calls it the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Now the organization is breathing fresh air in to its effort to help those kick the habit.
Starting this August, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will ban smoking from public housing. Because of that, the American Lung Association is providing free quit smoking support for residents.
According to the organization, tobacco use takes the lives of over 7,000 people in Wisconsin every year, but it's not just those who light up that are put at risk. Unlike secondhand smoke, something many people may not have heard of is third hand smoke.
"Third hand smoke is the smoke that remains on your clothing. So after you're done smoking, even if you smoke outside, or if you smoke inside that smoke can remain on the clothes you wear. If you do smoke inside, your couches, your curtains, it can stay in there and if you have young kids in the house crawling around or if you're cuddling with your little baby can still get those toxins on them," said public health nurse Bev Walden with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.
The free quit support is part of the American Lung Association's 'Freedom from Smoking' program.
The health department also has several programs to help people quit. The Wisconsin Quitline offers things like medications, coaching and referrals to local programs. The First Breath program is specifically designed for pregnant women, new moms and their families.