ESCANABA, Mich. — Father’s Day is a day to celebrate dads and the important role they play in the lives of their families and children. It’s also a great day to encourage men to celebrate a tobacco-free life, and to support current tobacco users in their efforts to quit.

Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death and disease in Michigan, and unfortunately more than 22 percent of men in Michigan still smoke cigarettes. However, research shows that seven in ten adult cigarette smokers want to quit completely. Tobacco contains nicotine, a highly addictive drug. Most tobacco users are addicted to nicotine, which can make quitting difficult. Many people may need to make several quit attempts in order to be successful, but tobacco users can and do quit. In fact, today there are more former than current smokers.

“The good news is that there are resources available to help the men in our lives, and anyone who wants to quit using tobacco, to live tobacco-free,” said Erin Kiraly, Health Educator at Public Health Delta & Menominee Counties. “The Michigan Tobacco Quitline has helped over 100,000 Michigan residents with quitting tobacco use. Talking to a healthcare provider and receiving support from family and friends is also very helpful.”

This Father’s Day, Delta County Healthy Communities Coalition encourages everyone to help dads to live tobacco-free. When people stop smoking, they greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death. There are benefits to quitting at any age, and a person is never too old to quit.

Encourage dads who use tobacco to talk to their healthcare provider or to call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline. Callers to the Quitline can receive information and referral and, if qualified, can enroll in a free coaching program and even receive nicotine replacement medications to assist them in quitting. People may call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or visit online at https://michigan.quitlogix.org/ .

Fathers can also help their children by maintaining a smoke-free home and car, talking to kids about the dangers of tobacco use, including the use of e-cigarettes, and helping their children to understand the marketing of tobacco products that targets young people.

On Father’s Day, and each day, dads set a good example for their children and loved ones by not using tobacco and by protecting their children from exposure to secondhand smoke. For dads who are struggling with quitting tobacco use, help is available.

For help with quitting tobacco use, talk with your healthcare provider or contact the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-784-8669.