A Building Partnerships for Better Health forum was held at the Whitfield County Health Department on Monday, January 5, 2009 at 6 p.m.  Community health stakeholders shared with state legislators, Senator Don Thomas, and Representatives Tom Dickson and Roger Williams the Assessment of Disparities with Tobacco Use.  Better Health Forum

The East Tennessee State University (ETSU) College of Public Health and the Building Partnerships for Better Health initiative conducted the assessment. ETSU Research Assistant Rachel Swafford, who provided support in preparation of the assessment, said that this report was part of efforts to gather valuable data for theTennessee Stroke Registry. Ms. Swafford attended the meeting on behalf of Tim Aldrich, Ph.D, MPH and Varaprasaad Ilapogu, MD, MPH, the authors of the study.  

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Georgia and the nation, and there is a clear connection between tobacco use and chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease - a major cause of stroke. Other chronic diseases related to tobacco use include cancer (lung, cervix, kidney, and bone marrow), respiratory diseases, osteoporosis, and poor pregnancy outcomes.  

Building Partnerships for Better Health is a regional public health initiative established to address tobacco-related disparities in North Georgia. The assessment revealed that the population in this area uses tobacco at higher rates than do other populations in Georgia. It has also been found that tobacco users in North Georgia have utilized the services of the free Georgia Tobacco Quit Line at lower rates than in other parts of the state....

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