NVFC launches Web site to help firefighters curb a dangerous habit

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has launched a new Web site, www.healthy-firefighter.org/putitout, to help firefighters “Put It Out”—in other words, quit smoking. This got me thinking about just how addictive this habit is, and asking, what actually works?

Have you tried to quit smoking? Were you successful? If so, what did you do? Your experiences could help other firefighters battling the addiction.

Additionally, I’ve included the NVFC press release below for those of you interested in checking out the new site.

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 U.S. 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 and find out what you can do to stop smoking or help your fellow first responders Put It Out.

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Comment by Mick Mayers on June 29, 2010 at 7:34pm
Well, Lutan, it was found to be unenforceable not long after I took the job (but I stayed off anyway), but I'm pretty sure I heard Arlington or Arlington County VA were requiring no smoking. Maybe one of our lurking readers can fill us in...
Comment by lutan1 on June 28, 2010 at 10:02pm
Thanks Tommy. Interesting one. Not sure how that stand here in Australia....

Then again, not a smoker so it doesn't mater ;-)
Comment by lutan1 on June 28, 2010 at 9:40pm
I was taking a job at a different fire department in 1988; they told me the job was mine but all new hires were prohibited from smoking on or off the job.
Interesting stand poitn from the department Mick. Legally do they have a leg to stand on though in terms of what you do outside the job? Just curious....
Comment by Mick Mayers on June 28, 2010 at 9:24pm
Cold turkey. I was taking a job at a different fire department in 1988; they told me the job was mine but all new hires were prohibited from smoking on or off the job. I wanted the job, so I quit. It was tough, but sufficiently motivated, you can do most anything.
Comment by edward monahan on June 28, 2010 at 8:59pm
nicorette, mmmmm

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