Ad hoc Committees

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Asthma Alcohol

Facts about Tobacco

  • Tobacco use remains a leading preventable cause of death and disease in Georgia

  • A large majority of adult smokers (about 80%) begin smoking before the age of 18

  • Tobacco use is responsible for more than 10,000 deaths in Georgia every year and costs approximately $5 billion in direct adult and infant medical expenditures and productivity losses

  • Over 10,000 Georgians die every year from tobacco-related illnesses

  • Exposure to secondhand smoke has been shown to increase the frequency and severity of asthma

Please click here to view Tobacco Data

Facts about Asthma

  • The significant trend or issue in our target community is asthma.  Atlanta named “Asthma Capital” For 2007.  Southern City ranked worst for Asthma Suffers; Seattle rated the best-CBS News, January 24, 2007.  Atlanta is rated as the worst city in the nation for asthma suffers by the Asthma Allergy Foundation of America. (AP)  Atlanta Fulton County Georgia has the highest prevalence of Asthma as sited by the CDC.   Despite the fact that smoking may trigger asthma attacks, youth and adults with asthma continue to smoke.  Exposure to secondhand smoke has been shown to increase the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.  Stopping smoking and limiting exposure to secondhand smoke can help reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. 

  • Asthma is a serious chronic disease, and it can be fatal. The American Lung Association reported recently that thousands of Georgia youngsters with asthma are learning a hard lesson when they return to school each year.  Many of their parents and teachers are not aware of the risks and are often not well prepared to assist with the student’s asthma management.  In a national survey of more than 2,000 parents, 27 percent said they were not familiar with asthma.  According to Dr. Norman H. Edelman, Chief Medical Officer for the American Lung Association, “parents’ lack of knowledge about asthma could cause afflicted children to fall behind in school and athletics.”

  • Asthma often manifests for the first time when children start school and are exposed for the first time to irritants such as molds.   Dr. Norman states that “…six times more asthmatic children are admitted to hospitals and emergency clinics during late August and early September than during summer months”.  In addition to being life threatening in extreme cases, asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism in the Atlanta area.

  • Among Georgia children age 17 and under, 9.6 percent have asthma, one of the highest rates in the country.  African-Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma.  “In 2004, the national prevalence rate in blacks of both sexes and all ages was 24 percent higher than that for whites,” said Mike Tringale of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.  Some of the asthma triggers include ground-level ozone or smog, a particular problem in traffic-clogged Atlanta, second-hand smoke, cleaning chemicals, pesticides, cockroaches, mold, pollen, vermin dander, dust mites, and building materials such as industrial carpeting which emit volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).  

  • STATISTICS: In Georgia, 480,000 adults and 212,000 children age 17 and under have asthma; Asthma costs Georgia $296 million annually in direct health care expenses, including medications and emergency room visits; There were more than 47,000 emergency room visits in 2003 with asthma as the primary diagnosis; Children aged 1-4 years old with asthma have the highest emergency room visit rates, 1.469 per 100,000 people; and Atlanta was recently ranked #1 among the 10 worst cities for asthma in March 2007

  • Please click here to view Asthma Data

Facts about Alcohol

  • (71%) of high school students surveyed in Fulton County reported drinking alcohol on 1 or more days in the past 30 days.

  • (29%) of the underage students reported drinking between one to five drinks in the past 30 days

  • Two-thirds of the students surveyed reported having their first drink between 12 and 14 years of age

  • Among those students who had obtained alcohol in the past 30 days, almost half (46%) reported obtaining alcohol from their parents or other relative. An adult that provides alcohol to a minor you can face up $1,000 in fines and/or 12 months confinement for a first offense

  • For the last 4 year there has been more alcohol related crashes in Fulton County than any other county in GA

  • Georgia ranks 40th highest in the U.S. for cost per youth of underage drinking

  • In 2009, There were 32 alcohol impaired driving fatalities in Georgia

  • In 2009, there were 1,290 youth arrested for alcohol related offenses (driving under the influence, liquors laws, drunkenness)

  • The committee is working in the community to decrease underage drinking and driving under the influence in many ways such as:

  • Prime for Life Classes, is a scientific research-based alcohol and drug curriculum for people of all ages and is used as a prevention education program, as well as pre-treatment education in some cases, such as with DUI offenders.

  • Increasing sobriety checkpoints

  • Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service (RASS) workshops

  • Decreasing alcohol signage

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