Denominations Unite to Stop Smoking

July 9, 2014Charlie Arnowitz

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is partnering with the faith community to promote Tips from Former SmokersTips is a national tobacco education campaign that encourages Americans to quit smoking, by “showing the toll that smoking-related illnesses take on smokers and their loved ones.” The Tips campaign goals include building public awareness of the health damage caused by smoking, encouraging smokers to quit, and encouraging smokers not to smoke around others, in order to avoid the effects of secondhand smoke. You have probably seem some of their memorable ads, which vividly depict some of the consequences of smoking. Take a look at the campaign’s website, which features powerful personal stories and important information about the consequences of tobacco use.

Faith communities can play a key role in encouraging their smoking members to quit. Under the auspices of the Faiths United Against Tobacco campaign, Protestant, Catholic, Muslim and Jewish denominations are standing as one to limit preventable deaths and to ensure that families stay united, healthy and whole. As natural centers for spiritual, emotional, and physical wellness, congregations can bring quit smoking resources to those in need and provide a vital, unique support network for community members who are looking to make the healthy choice to quit smoking—or not to start.

Jewish tradition enjoins us, above all else, to cherish nurture, preserve and protect life. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S., and the Reform Movement has long resolved to establish educational programs and support legislation that discourage smoking, in additional to keepings its meetings, functions, and workplaces smoke-free. The national Tips campaign is in line with that crucial mission, and we are pleased to be joining with diverse denominations—who share a similar belief in the inherent sanctity and dignity of human life—in supporting healthier lifestyles.

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