Break the habit

Great American Smokeout Day offers opportunity for improving health
Nov. 15, 2012 @ 12:16 AM

For those who take up the challenge of today’s Great American Smokeout Day today, the day may pass by a little slower and tempers could be a little shorter. But it’s also an opportunity for smokers to live one day out of the year a little bit healthier for both them and their loved ones.

This is the 37th anniversary of the Great American Smokeout Day. It was established in 1977 by the American Cancer Society as a way to educate the public on the dangers associated with tobacco use and to encourage smokers to quit for a lifetime by starting with just one day. The event is held annually on the third Thursday of November. Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of disease and premature death within the United States.

Tennessee’s Attorney General Bob Cooper is encouraging Tennesseans to pledge to be smoke-free today and is teaming up with the Tennessee Health Department and Metropolitan Nashville Department of Public Health to host “Kick the Habit” stations. Smokers are encouraged to stop by one of these stations and pick up a quit pack, which is full of cessation goodies that will help assist the smoker’s attempt to quit smoking. In addition, smokers willing to trash their cigarettes and pledge to quit for at least the day can trade in their cigarettes for a prize.

“We are pleased to take part in this important event designed to help save lives,” Attorney General Cooper said. “We hope Tennesseans will take this opportunity to either stop smoking or help others quit the dangerous habit.”

While the folks in Sevier County can’t take advantage of the Nashville program, maybe family and friends can in some way offer their own encouragement to smokers they know.

One resource all smokers can take advantage of to help them quit tobacco is the Tennessee Tobacco Quitline. This free service offers personalized support through a quit coach who will help design an individualized plan to stop using tobacco. The Tennessee Tobacco Quitline can be reached toll-free at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

To learn more information about the Tennessee Tobacco Quitline, go to the Tennessee Department of Health’s website at: http://heath.state.tn.us/tobaccoquitline.htm.