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Father’s Day: Helping dads kick tobacco

Father’s Day is a great opportunity to encourage dads who use tobacco to quit.

More than 278,000 men die every year from smoking.

If your father or father figure smokes or uses tobacco products, encourage him to quit. He may already want to: More than 68 percent of smokers say they want to quit.

New research shows that a decrease in prostate cancer rates from 1999 – 2010 was consistent with lower rates of cigarette smoking.

In addition to protecting themselves, fathers who smoke can save their children’s lives by quitting. Secondhand smoke exposure causes more than 41,000 deaths each year, increases the risk of children developing asthma, and leads to 400 infant deaths every year. Moreover, research shows that children are more likely to smoke if their parents smoke.

It’s not just cigarettes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that 31.8 percent of rural, white males 12 - 17 years old are at risk of using smokeless tobacco, in part due to smokeless tobacco use by role models including fathers and grandfathers. FDA recently expanded its “Real Cost” campaign to educate rural, white male teenagers about the harms of smokeless tobacco.