IAFF, Pfizer Launch 'Smoke-Free Union' Campaign

The International Association of Fire Fighters, in collaboration with pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc., has announced the launch of a new initiative to help firefighters, family members, and friends to quit smoking cigarettes. "Our goal is to help make the IAFF the first smoke-free union," said IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger.

The campaign includes materials designed to help firefighters understand the risks of smoking and how to quit. The resources are available on a new Web site at www.iaff.org/smokefree. In the coming weeks, the campaign will add new resources, including a DVD featuring stories from firefighters about how they quit smoking.

"We congratulate the IAFF for its commitment to this campaign and look forward to working together toward the goal of a smoke-free union," said Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler. "Firefighters are respected leaders in their communities, and this program on smoking cessation reaffirms that leadership."

Schaitberger noted that firefighters continually place themselves in harm's way and confront dangerous environments. Smoking is a major health risk for firefighters who are already at high risk for illnesses, including heart disease, respiratory disease, and certain cancers. In addition, smoking is the leading cause of fires and a significant occupational risk for firefighters. "It's stressful work, and some respond to stress by smoking," he said. "Yet smoking increases the health risks fire fighters face. We want to help prevent that."

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