Prevent, Promote, and Protect your Health with the Lake County General Health District
(440) 350-2543
5966 Heisley Rd
Mentor, Ohio 44060

Press Releases

Please see the most current press release by date released.


  • July 13, 2018PRESS RELEASE                                                               CONTACT: HALEY RUSSO (440) 350-2844 July 13, 2017                                                                    LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICTLAKE COUNTY TRAFFIC FATALITY UPDATEThe Lake County Safe Communities Coalition (LCSCC) reports that there have been seven fatal deaths due to crashes in 2018 in Lake County, six of which occurred in the 2nd quarter (April-June). The causes of the crashes were:• Operating in negligent manner (2) • Improper crossing • Failure to stop at a stop sign • Failure to yield • Improper lane change • Lying illegally in roadwayOf the crashes reported, three are suspected to be alcohol and/or drug related. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to be safe whenever they are behind the wheel, and that all motorists can play a role in keeping the roadways safe by never driving while impaired and designating a sober driver.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,497 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2016. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2012 to 2016—one person killed every 50 minutes in 2016. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. This is why the Lake County Safe Communities Coalition is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out for your night, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.The LCSCC and NHTSA recommend the following safe alternatives to drinking and driving:• Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you have had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely. • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices: (, and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices: ( SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up. • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local police department • Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit ###

  • LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT SETS THE FACTS STRAIGHT ON TOBACCO 21 June 26, 2018PRESS RELEASE                                                                   CONTACT:  Cathy Hewitt (440) 350-2442 June 21, 2018                                                                     LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICTLAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT SETS THE FACTS STRAIGHT ON TOBACCO 21 On May 29, 2018, Wickliffe City Council passed an ordinance to adopt Tobacco 21, a national campaign that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21, and some individuals have expressed concerns over this new legislation. While adoption of Tobacco 21 by a political subdivision is voluntary, Lake County General Health District would like to provide information regarding the benefits of Tobacco 21 adoption.Tobacco 21 is a national campaign aimed at raising the minimum legal sale age (MLA) for tobacco and nicotine sales in the United States to 21[1]. Tobacco use is the foremost preventable cause of premature death in the United States[2], is responsible for approximately 480,000 deaths a year[3], and has contributed to 208 million premature deaths in the United States since the Surgeon General’s 1964 smoking report2. Moreover, smoking is linked to $300 billion in national health care and lost productivity costs per year3. As such, Tobacco 21 represents an opportunity for public health law to mitigate an important national health risk.Approximately 95% of adult smokers begin smoking before age 21, and between the ages of 18 and 21, many smokers move from casual smoking to regular daily use4. The developing brains of those 21 and under are particularly susceptible to the addictive properties of nicotine5, and those who start smoking by the age of 18 are almost twice as likely to become lifetime smokers, as opposed to those who start after the age of 216.Each day, more than 3,200 youth under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette, and nine out of 10 smokers start before the age of 187. The 2014 Lake County Youth Health Status Assessment reported that 10% of youth in grades six through 12 were smokers, increasing to 19% of those who were over the age of 178. Of the current youth smokers in Lake County, 22% smoke cigarettes on a daily basis8. The average age of initiation in Lake County is 13 years of age, and 85% of youth who identified as current smokers were also current drinkers8. The rise in youth E-cigarette use is also concerning, given the availability of products like Juul, an E-cigarette modeled to look like a USB flash drive.Ninety percent of all adults who purchase tobacco products for minors are between the ages of 18 and 209, and increasing the minimum tobacco sale age to 21 could eliminate minors’ ability to buy from fellow students. This, therefore, addresses a major deficiency as to why existing age restrictions have not successfully eliminated smoking among children.Across the Unites States, more than 310 cities and counties have adopted Tobacco 211; Ohio cities include Akron (04/16/18), Dublin (12/04/17), Powell (06/20/17), Euclid (12/21/16), Columbus (12/12/16), Cleveland (12/07/15), New Albany (11/17/15), Grandview Heights (09/21/15), Bexley (06/23/15), and Upper Arlington (06/08/15)10.In July of 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released study findings that 75% of adults were in favor of raising the tobacco sale to 21; 70% percent of the adults participating in the study were current smokers, and 65% were aged 18 to 2411.The 2017-2018 Community Tobacco-Free Survey asked 989 residents from Lake, Geauga, and Ashtabula County residents if the minimum age of purchase and possession of tobacco products should be raised to 21, and results indicated that 55% strongly agreed, and 18% agreed. “When this data was broken down by tobacco use, 77% of non-tobacco users, 71% of former tobacco users, and 51% of present tobacco users supported Tobacco 21 legislation,” said Cathy Hewitt of the Lake County General Health District.“Tobacco 21 legislation protects our youth from lifelong nicotine addiction”, stated Hewitt.“The Lake County General Health District offers assistance to all Ashtabula, Geauga, and Lake County cities who would like to adopt a Tobacco 21 ordinance ( to make tobacco products illegal for purchase to individuals under the age of 21,” said Hewitt. For more information on tobacco and tobacco-free polices, contact Cathy Hewitt at (440) 350-2442.[1] Tobacco 21. (n.d.). Retrieved on June 21, 2018, from[2] Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. (2012). Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults, United States, 2011, 61(44) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly. Retrieved on June 21, 2018, from[3] US Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). The health consequences of smoking—50 years of progress: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 17.4 Abuse, S. (2006). Results from the 2005 national survey on drug use and health: national findings. http://www. oas. samhsa. gov/nsduh/2k5nsduh/2k5Results. pdf.5 Morales, A. M., Ghahremani, D., Kohno, M., Hellemann, G. S., & London, E. D. (2014). Cigarette exposure, dependence, and craving are related to insula thickness in young adult smokers. Neuropsychopharmacology, 39(8), 1816.6 Burrows, D. S. (1982). Estimated change in industry trend following federal excise tax increase.7 Be Tobacco Free. (n.d.). Retrieved on June 21, 2018 from ###

  • LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT OFFICIALS REMIND RESIDENTS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM MOSQUITOES June 5, 2018NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                                                                                      CONTACT: BERT MECHENBIERJune 5, 2018                                                                                                                                                                           LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICTLAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT OFFICIALS REMIND RESIDENTS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM MOSQUITOESLake County General Health District officials are expecting an increase in the amount of mosquitoes in Lake County. Recent rains in Lake County have left large areas of standing water, which is where mosquitoes lay their eggs. “The best advice is to get rid of standing water around your house if you can and use personal protection,” noted Bert Mechenbier, Supervisor of Mosquito Control at Lake County General Health District.Mechenbier provided the following tips for homeowners to keep mosquitoes from breeding in your backyard:Dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools, plastic covers or other containers that collect and hold water. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in containers as small as bottle lids.Keep roof gutters unclogged. Clean gutters in the spring and fall.Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs. Keep them covered when empty.Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted trays at least once a week, if not more often.Fill or drain puddles, ditches, and swampy areas and either remove, drain, or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks.Eliminate standing water around animal watering troughs.Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.Do not let water accumulate in children’s plastic toys. Lake County General Health District would also like to advise the following to protect yourself from biting mosquitoes:Avoid being outside at dawn/dusk. If you cannot avoid those times, use a repellent.Use an insect repellent containing active ingredients which have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing.  Of the products registered with the EPA, those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection than other products.Use repellents according to label instructions.Insect repellents can be used on pregnant women.  EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for repellent use by pregnant or nursing women.Most insect repellents can be used on children. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not to be used on children under the age of three years. Do not allow children to handle or spray insect repellents. When using on children, apply to your own hands first and then put it on the child. Avoid applying repellent to children’s hands because children frequently put their hands in their eyes and mouths. EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for using registered repellents on children.Repellents containing a higher percentage of the active ingredient typically provide longer-lasting protection. Regardless of what product you use, if you start to get mosquito bites, reapply the repellent according to the label instructions.Wash treated skin and clothing after returning indoors.Wash treated skin and clothing after returning indoors.Wear light-colored clothing.Wear long sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks if you go outside when mosquitoes are most active (from dusk until dawn).Avoid wearing perfume, cologne and aromatic scents.Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight”. Repair or replace torn screens.Replace outdoor lights with yellow “bug lights”. If you have a concern about standing water, please call the Lake County General Health District at (440) 350-2543. If the standing water is on private property, permission will be needed to enter the property. For general information on mosquitoes and mosquito control, please visit the Health District’s website at . ###

  • MORE THAN 1000 RAN IN THIS YEAR’S JUST RUN 5K May 31, 2018NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                                         CONTACT: KATHY MILO (440) 350-2447May 29, 2018                                                                                                                            LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT         MORE THAN 1000 RAN IN THIS YEAR’S JUST RUN 5KThe Lake County General Health District held their annual JUST RUN Lake County event on Saturday, May 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Village of Fairport Harbor along the shores of Lake Erie. This event was an opportunity to empower families, children and adults to live healthier lives through active lifestyles.931 students from 35 schools participated in the JUST RUN® Lake County 5K race. There were 539 adults and siblings that ran with the students to support them through the race. This was a total of 1,470 runners! The support from family and friends was overwhelming at the finish line.The Lake County General Health District greatly appreciates the sponsors and partners that helped make this program so successful, including Applebee’s of Mentor, Buckeye Health Plan, CareSource, Chick-fil-A of Mentor, CoreLIFE Eatery, CT Consultants, Greater Cleveland XC, Lake County Captains, Lake County United Way, Lake County YMCA, Lake Health, Lakeland Foundation, Mentor Police Athletic Association, Paramount Advantage, Second Sole, and Village of Fairport Harbor. For more information about JUST RUN Lake County, visit or call 440-350-2447. ###

  • JUST RUN LAKE COUNTY SCHEDULED FOR MAY 26TH May 24, 2018NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                              CONTACT:  KATHY MILO (440) 350-2447May 23, 2018                                                                                                                 LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT     JUST RUN LAKE COUNTY SCHEDULED FOR MAY 26THSpend the last Saturday in May having fun along the shores of Lake Erie!The JUST RUN Lake County event will be held on Saturday, May 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Village of Fairport Harbor along the shores of Lake Erie and will be held rain or shine. This one-day free event is one you and your children won’t want to miss! This event is an opportunity to empower families, children and adults to live healthier lives through active lifestyles.Over 1,750 registered students from thirty-five schools will participate in the JUST RUN® Lake County 5K race. The runners will run through the Village of Fairport Harbor and finish at the bottom of the hill. Family and friends are welcome to come and cheer on the kids. There is parking by the beach and on the side streets throughout the Village of Fairport Harbor.Residents from all over Northeast Ohio will have the opportunity to spend the day experiencing a variety of free interactive events and activities! All family members can experience kayaking, paddleboarding and other fun activities for free! Health and wellness exhibitors will be present from 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Food trucks and healthy snacks will also be available to purchase. This is a great opportunity to try something new! JUST RUN Lake County is sponsored by Lake County General Health District, Lake County United Way, Mentor Police Athletic Association, Buckeye Health Plan, CareSource, the Lake County Captains, Chick-fil-A, Applebee’s, CoreLIFE, the Lakeland Foundation, CT Consultants, Paramount Advantage, Lake County YMCA, Lake Health, Second Sole, Greater Cleveland XC, and the Village of Fairport Harbor. For more information about JUST RUN Lake County, visit or call 440-350-2447.If you would like to be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift card, be sure to stop by the Lake County Health District table. You will be given gloves and a zip lock bag to collect tobacco waste products along the beach area. All students and family members are encouraged to participate. This will not be a contest of who cleans up the most, as any participation in the clean-up will earn you a ticket into the raffle! ###