The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), with support from Pfizer, has launched a new web site to help first responders quit smoking and stay quit. The Put It Out campaign web site is now available at www.healthy-firefighter.org/putitout and 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.
The new web site contains sections to assist individuals in quitting smoking, family members in supporting first responders who are quitting, departments in establishing a no-smoking policy and smoking cessation program, and state associations in encouraging their members to adopt a smoke-free lifestyle. Tools and resources include a ‘quit calendar,’ steps for how to quit, statistics and facts about smoking, sample documents such as press releases and no-smoking policies, outreach letters, motivational tools, and more.
According to a recent United States Fire Administration supported NVFC study, 68 percent of firefighters responding said they believed that first responders lived shorter or much shorter than the general population. Smoking has proven negative health effects and can cause or contribute to life-threatening illnesses such as heart attack, lung cancer, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. There are also significant threats to the health of those exposed to second-hand smoke. Helping firefighters lead a smoke-free life is a critical component to keeping first responders safe and healthy.
The NVFC, through its groundbreaking Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, has been working to combat the number of line-of-duty firefighter deaths due to heart disease since 2003. Heart attack is the leading cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities, and many other firefighters are diagnosed with heart disease and lung-related illnesses each year. The Put It Out campaign is the latest in the NVFC’s ongoing health and safety initiatives.
The Put It Out campaign was piloted in North Carolina in 2009, and the results of the pilot program helped inform the new web site. 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.
About the National Volunteer Fire Council
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable tools, resources, programs, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at www.nvfc.org.