Orange City, Iowa — The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout is an annual event that encourages smokers to make a plan to quit smoking. The 42nd annual Great American Smokeout is being held this Thursday, November 16, 2017.
The Great American Smokeout has its origins in Minnesota’s first “Don’t Smoke Day” in 1974. The California American Cancer Society got nearly a million smokers to quit for a day in 1976. The next year the Smokeout went nationwide. The idea is that if smokers can quit for one day, they can quit for one day at a time, turning into quitting permanently.
In the more than 50 years since the Surgeon General’s first report on smoking and health, cigarette smoking among U.S. adults has been reduced by approximately half. Nonetheless, since 1964, the year of that first report, an estimated 20 million people have died because of smoking. Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Shay Davis, the Tobacco Prevention Coordinator for Community Health Partners of Sioux County tells us the benefits of quitting smoking.
He says there is help available.
He says that you may even qualify for free nicotine patches or gum to help you quit.
Experts say that getting effective help through counseling and use of medications can increase the chances of quitting by as much as threefold.
Davis works for the “Why? Coalition,” which helps schools, businesses, and landlords implement tobacco-free, nicotine-free policies.
He also notes that if you think that vaping is a way to help you quit smoking, you should think again. He says not only do e-cigarettes and vaping pens give you a dose of toxic chemicals, they also give you an unknown amount of nicotine. He says if you want to quit, use a regulated nicotine delivery system like patches or nicotine gum.
Information and support for quitting smoking is available by telephone at 800-QUIT-NOW (800–784–8669). CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers campaign offers additional quit resources at https://www.cdc.gov/tips. Or Davis says you can call him at 712-737-2971 and he’ll help you find the help you need.