Put It Out for Your Mind and Body

Tuesday, 03 August 2010

You know that smoking is bad for your lungs and heart, but did you know that it is also harmful to your mental health? In a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Archives of Psychiatry, exposure to secondhand smoke was found to be connected with depression and other psychological issues.

In a nationwide fire service health and wellness survey conducted by the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), more than one-third of respondents were found to be in the concern range on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Between the stress of facing frequent disasters and juggling the responsibilities of jobs, volunteering, and families, first responders are already at risk for some mental health concerns such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Smoking adds one more risk factor for experiencing depression and other psychological distress.

As a first responder, your body and mind must be ready for the job at hand. The time to quit smoking is now. To help firefighters win the fight against nicotine addition, the NVFC, with support from Pfizer, has launched a new web site aimed at getting first responders to quit smoking and stay quit. The Put It Out campaign web site is now available at www.healthy-firefighter.org/putitout.

The Put It Out site provides tools and resources for firefighters and emergency personnel who are ready to take the steps to stop smoking and lead a healthier, smoke-free lifestyle. State Associations and fire departments can find information to help them start a smoking cessation campaign locally. Family members can access resources and information to help them support their loved one as they take control of their health and quit smoking.

Make yourself, your department, and your state’s fire service physically and mentally healthier by taking the first step towards a smoke-free lifestyle. Visit www.healthy-firefighter.org/putitout today and find out what you can do to stop smoking or help your fellow first responders Put It Out.



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