Health briefs: World No Tobacco Day is May 31

— World No Tobacco Day recognizes the major public health threat posed by the tobacco epidemic.

Worldwide, tobacco kills nearly six million people every year — up to half of people who currently use tobacco will die of lung cancer and other tobacco-related diseases, according to the World Health Organization. More than 600,000 tobacco-related deaths are nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Children account for more than 25 percent of these deaths. Deaths from cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco products are the most preventable deaths in the United States.

Counseling and other support helps a person address complex physical and emotional factors of nicotine addiction and can significantly improve a person’s chances of quitting for good. The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association offers free one-on-one tobacco cessation counseling. To speak with a tobacco cessation counselor, call 970-871-7696. Personalized phone support and free nicotine patches are available through the Colorado QuitLine, 800-QUIT-NOW.

Those who want to quit can also sign up for text message support at These services are free, though text message fees may apply based on a user’s mobile plan.

Be aware of hepatitis

Hepatitis is a liver disease that can sometimes lead to long-term liver infection or liver cancer.

The most common types are Hepatitis A, B and C. Hepatitis A is spread by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the virus. Hepatitis B is spread through blood, semen or other body fluids. Hepatitis C is spread through infected blood. Vaccines are available to prevent Hepatitis A and B. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C, but it can be treated if caught early.

Travel and some behaviors may increase your hepatitis risk. Talk to your health care provider about your risk and whether you should be screened.

Hepatitis A and B and other routine vaccination are available during drop-in immunizations clinics from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101. They are also available by appointment. Call 970-879-1632.

Residents may qualify for health insurance coverage

If you have had any of the following life change events in the past month, you may qualify for health insurance (reduced-cost plans) through Connect for Health Colorado outside the open enrollment period:

• Marriage, birth, adoption and placement for foster care.

• Your insurance plan or Medicaid coverage was canceled or ended.

• You changed jobs and lost employer-sponsored insurance.

• You gained citizenship or immigration status.

• You experienced a change in incarceration status.

• You moved to Colorado.

You can apply for health insurance through Colorado Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus year-round. For more information or to meet with a health coverage guide, call 970-871-1632.

VNA holds divorce support groups

The Northwest Colorado VNA is hosts a support group for adults coping with divorce. Meetings focus on handling strong emotions and life transition, restoring one’s identity and self-esteem, effective communication and successful single parenting. Meetings are noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays at the Rollingstone Respite House, 1500 Pine Grove Road. For more information, call Adrienne Hearne at 512-630-1373.

Measles vaccination recommended for certain individuals

The United States is experiencing a multi-state measles outbreak that started in California in December 2014. Measles is a highly contagious, viral illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following individuals receive the vaccine:

• All children should get two doses of the MMR vaccine, the first dose at 12 to 15 months old and the second dose at 4 to 6 years old. Special vaccination recommendations may apply to infants and children traveling internationally.

• Adults born after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity (documentation of adequate vaccination or having had the illness) should have one or two doses of the MMR vaccine, depending on their risk.

• Teens and adults who are in a post-secondary school, work in a health care facility or are planning international travel have a higher risk of exposure and should have two doses. Children and adults can receive the second dose 28 days or longer after the first dose.

For more information about measles vaccination, go to The MMR vaccine is available at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101. For more information, call 970-879-1632.

Support groups this week:

• A bereavement support group meets from 1 to 2 p.m. Mondays at Rollingstone Respite House. The group is open to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one. Call 970-871-7628 prior to attending your first meeting.

• A domestic violence support group for women is held from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays at Advocates Building Peaceful Communities. Call Diane at 970-879-2034 before attending.

• The Steamboat Meditation Recovery Group meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs, 2250 Copper Frontage Road, No. 202. The group also has a recovery-based yoga beforehand at 4:30 p.m. The group will explore recovery through meditation, book study and all open discussion. Meetings are open to all faiths and addictions. For more information, call 720-670-8642.

• A Caregiver Cancer Support Group meets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sundays in the community room at Natural Grocers, 355 Lincoln Ave. For more information, call 970-846-4717.

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