January is National Radon Action Month
Vermont Offers Free Radon Home Test Kits, Quit Smoking Help

For Immediate Release: Jan. 8, 2009

Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health has teamed up with the American Lung Association during January – National Radon Action Month – to educate Vermonters about the dangers of radon. After smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Free home test kits are available, while supplies last.

Elevated levels of radon have been found in all types of homes in every area of Vermont. Radon is present at elevated levels in about 13 percent of Vermont homes. Houses can act like large chimneys, with warm air rising and escaping out upper floor windows and through cracks in the attic. This creates a vacuum at the lowest level of the house, which can pull the radon from soil into the house.

“Radon has no color, odor or taste, and unless you test for it, there is no way of knowing if the radioactive gas is in your home,” said Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD. “The use of a long-term radon test kit is an easy way to find out.”

If found, the problem can be fixed with proper venting techniques. The cost of having a certified professional properly ventilate a home can range from $800 to $2,500, depending on the home’s characteristics.

For a free test kit, e-mail your request to radon@vdh.state.vt.us. Please put the words “Radon Test Kit” in the subject line of your e-mail and be sure to include your name, phone number, and Vermont mailing address, or call: 1-800-439-8550.

If you smoke, you are at even higher risk of lung cancer. January is also the time when most smokers resolve to quit. The Vermont Quit Network, through the Vermont Department of Health, provides a choice of free services for Vermonters who want to quit smoking.

Quit Online:  Visit VTQuitNetwork.org anytime, day or night, for advice, quit tips and access to coaching. Members can join a forum, read testimonials, or find a quit buddy. The new "Your Quit Your Way" suite offers tools to help self-direct a quit, such as pedometers, distraction putty, worry stones, quit coaching podcasts, mini quit tip cards, free nicotine gum, and patches or lozenges that can be delivered directly to a smokers’ home while supplies last.

Quit by Phone:  The Vermont Quit Network at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) links you with a quit coach who will call at a time that works for you. Your coach will help you get ready to quit, and tell you how you can get FREE nicotine patches, gum or lozenges shipped directly to your home. 

Quit in Person:  To find your local hospital quit coach call the Vermont Quit Network at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669). Each Vermont hospital offers one-on-one or group coaching to quit smoking. They can also arrange for home delivery of free nicotine replacement therapy.  To meet your quit coaches ahead of time, visit VTQuitNetwork.org.

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