Civic Duty and Smoke Free America Unite to Combat U.S. Leading Cause of Preventable Death

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Julian Omidi and Dr. Michael Omidi, co-founders of the charity Civic Duty, joined with the Foundation for a Smoke Free America to help increase public awareness about the health and human costs of tobacco use. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States.

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Encouraged by the news that the percentage of smoking adults in the U.S. recently dropped below 20 percent, Civic Duty and its co-founders Julian Omidi and Dr. Michael Omidi, are partnering with the Foundation for a Smoke Free America to help spread the news about the real health risks associated with tobacco use. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are diagnosed with tobacco-related illnesses that effectively diminish their quality of life and ultimately shorten it.

“Every year, cigarette smoking ends more lives than homicide, suicide, HIV/AIDS, and alcoholism combined,” says Dr. Michael Omidi, co-founder of Civic Duty. “The adult smoking rate in the US has dropped to 18 percent. That is significant and we are pleased to join the fight to combat this deadly habit through education and awareness campaigns.”

The percentage of adult smokers in America has hovered at 20 percent for the past 7 years, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported a decline to 18 percent. Smokefree America’s Exective Director Patrick Reynolds notes, “Factors contributing to fewer adults smoking include rising state and federal tobacco taxes, more spending on prevention and cessation programs, and more laws banning smoking in public.”

“We must campaign for the end of this public health hazard. It not only affects smokers, but their friends and families as well, through the effects of second hand smoke,” adds Julian Omidi, Civic Duty co-founder.

The Foundation for a Smoke Free America (http://www.Anti-smoking.org) was founded in 1989 by Patrick Reynolds, a grandson of the founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Mr. Reynolds watched his father and other members of his family die from cigarette-induced emphysema and lung cancer. Resolved to tell the world the affect smoking can have on health and life, Mr. Reynolds went on a speaking tour of schools, universities, and medical boards. He has even lobbied the US Congress and State Legislatures for public smoking bans, higher tobacco taxes, spending on youth smoking prevention, and FDA Regulation of tobacco. He hopes to go on a tour of China, the Middle East, Russia, and other nations where smoking rates are high. The late U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop called Mr. Reynolds “one of the nation's most influential advocates of a smoke free America.”

60% of US smokers begin smoking by age 14, and 90% get fully addicted before reaching age 19. Only 1 in 10 smokers began after the age of 19. One of the primary goals of Smokefree America is to prevent adolescents from picking up the habit in the first place, through education in schools, its video and strong presence on the Internet. If teenage smoking can be prevented, the total number of smokers will drop drastically.

Civic Duty (http://www.civicduty.org) is dedicated to mankind’s search for meaning and promotes the values of its founders, philanthropists Julian Omidi and his brother Dr. Michael Omidi. The charity’s mission is to inspire creative outreach, community service, and volunteerism through the stories of every-day people who are making an extraordinary difference in the world. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow men.” To get involved and help make a difference, send us a message using the website’s Contact Us link. More information about Civic Duty can be found on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter.

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