Smoking in Missouri
"World No Tobacco Day" started 20 years ago, to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic.
Linda Cooperstock, of the Boone County Health Department, said, "Tobacco is very very addictive. We see it now based on the people who are trying to quit and have had a lot of trouble."
This year's theme focused on smoke-free environments. University Hospital went tobacco-free last September, and offered classes to help employees quit smoking.
Cindy Keneipp, a registered nurse with University Hospital, said, "The classes are for six weeks. You meet once a week, you schedule a quit date within that, where the group quits as a whole."
This January, Columbia implemented an indoor smoking ban, and one resident says it's uncalled for. He says people should walk away from smoke if they don't like it.
David Tye is a smoker. "I try to be polite until they walk away, but if they don't walk away after a certain period of time--i'll fire up," he said.
But, for those looking to kick the habit for good, both MU and the community offer help.
Tiffany Bowman from is from the MU Wellness Resource Center. She said, "We do education for the MU community on the dangers of second hand smoke, the dangers of tobacco use, and that type of thing."
The Missouri Foundation for Health has given the Columbia/Boone County Health Department a grant to launch a new service that will help citizens stop smoking. The health department offers counseling and nicotine patches for free.