The Daffodils are blooming, the crocuses are peaking out from the frozen ground and Oklahomans are thinking spring must be around the corner. As we watch our earth come to life again it reminds me of how important each individual is. Our country has many issues that our government is dealing with right now, employment, finances, housing and health costs. A thought came to me. As individuals we have little control over those issues. But we can control what we think, where we go and what we eat. Thank heavens we still have a few rights left.
As women I know how important we are to our families. We are daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, wives, mothers, and grandmothers that hold our families together. We are the thread that binds, weaves and ties our generations together. If we can make a difference in how we take care of ourselves, we can change our family’s history. If we are able to change our health habits, then we can help future generations.
An epidemic of smoking-related cancer and disease in women has arrived. Smoking is the most preventable cause of early death in this country. According to the centers for Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking-related diseases caused the deaths of about 174,000 women in each year from 2000 to 2004. On average, these women died 14.5 years earlier because they smoked.
The most recent CDC survey (from2007) showed that more than 1 in 6 American women aged 18 years or older smoked cigarettes. The highest rates were seen among American-Indian and Alaska-Native women. Tobacco counts for nearly 1 in 3 cancer deaths. Tens of thousands of women will die this year from lung cancer, which has shot past breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among women. Almost 90% of these deaths will be due to smoking.
Please join me for a lunch and learn at the Pawhuska Library on March 24th from noon till 1:00pm. Bring your lunch and we will provide water, dessert and a door prize. A video featuring Christy Turlington, a top model, titled, Women and Tobacco: Seven Deadly Myths will be presented and a discussion will follow. Enjoy a relaxing hour, a health break in your day.
Next Spring I want all of us to enjoy the flowers of spring.
Sheri Kincaid Health Educator, RRT