Encouraged by the Recent Decline in US Smoking, the Foundation Welcomes New Partner in Its Fight

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The Foundation for a Smoke Free America is pleased to welcome Civic Duty and the Omidi brothers as partners in the fight for smoking prevention and cessation. The percentage of American adults who smoke recently declined to 18 percent after plateauing for 7 years at 20%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The Foundation for a Smoke Free America is happy to announce its new association with the charity, Civic Duty and its co-founders, Dr. Michael Omidi and Julian Omidi. Every year, cigarette related illnesses kill over 400,000 people in the United States. The goals of the Foundation are to educate youth and adults about tobacco, to prevent young people from taking up the habit, and to help smokers quit successfully.

“We are thrilled with the recently announced drop below 20 percent of adult smokers in the U.S.,” says Patrick Reynolds, Smokefree America’s Executive Director. “This is great news, but more must be done, and we will continue with our education campaigns and tobacco prevention programs until this deadly habit is eradicated. We want to thank the Omidi brothers and Civic Duty for their wholehearted and generous support of our mission.”

The percentage of adult smokers in the United States had hovered at 20 percent for seven years, so the recently announced drop to 18 percent is significant. Factors that may have contributed to this latest decline include more public smoking bans, higher state and federal tobacco taxes, and increased spending on prevention and cessation programs.

The Foundation for a Smoke Free America (http://www.Anti-smoking.org) was founded in 1989 by Patrick Reynolds, the grandson of R.J. Reynolds, founder of the giant tobacco company which makes Camels and Winstons. Following the deaths of his own father and eldest brother from cigarette smoking-caused illnesses, Mr. Reynolds divested the tobacco stock he inherited and spoke out publicly in the US Congress in July, 1989 against the industry his family helped build. Since then he has become a strong voice in the anti-smoking movement, lobbying state legislators and the US Congress for tobacco control legislation such as smoking bans, tobacco tax hikes, spending on teen smoking prevention programs. He is a frequent speaker at schools, universities, and medical conferences.

Following a successful speaking and press tour in Greece in 2009, he is forming a plan to go on similar tours of China, the Middle East, Russia, India and other nations where smoking rates are high.

The Foundation for a Smoke Free America is especially active in childhood and teen smoking prevention programs. 60% of US smokers begin smoking by age 14, and 90% become addicted before reaching age 19. Only 1 in 10 smokers began after the age of 19, and States which have funded initiatives aimed at children at CDC recommended levels have significantly reduced teen smoking rates. Since only one smoker in 10 gets hooked after 19, drastic reductions in the US smoking rate could be achieved by educating the young early.

“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.”

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 function. More information about Civic Duty can be found on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter.

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