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Stop smoking focus for Great American Smoke Out | News

The Great American Smoke Out is an annual event run by the American Cancer Society on the third Thursday of…

The Great American Smoke Out is an annual event run by the American Cancer Society on the third Thursday of November, which encourages smokers to quit or make a plan to end.

By increasing awareness of the negative health effects of smoking and promoting smoking, there have been many changes since the 1970s when this event began, according to the Monroe County Health Department. Smoking has been banned at workplaces and restaurants, cigarette taxes have risen, cigarette ads have decreased, teens are discouraged from using cigarettes and the attitude towards smoking has changed.

Despite these efforts, the United States Cancer Association reports that one in five American adults still smoke cigarettes. In Monroe County, approximately 1

7 percent of adults continue to smoke.

The Health Department says that tobacco use is the biggest preventable cause of disease and death in the world. It is estimated that 32 percent of cancer deaths are caused by smoking, a statistic that does not contain used smoke. In addition, 80 percent of all deaths in lung cancer are caused by smoking. In addition to cancer, smoke damage to the lungs can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Smoking also damages the heart and blood vessels, which leads to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

The Health Department offered the following tips to quit smoking:

  • Create a plan to quit smoking, and when the decision is made to stop making, select a specific day to begin.
  • Talk to a doctor about ways to stop, for example, nicotine replacement therapy, prescription drugs or other methods.
  • Find support. Whether it’s family, friends, stop-smoking groups, online end groups, counseling, self-help books or brochures, help and encouragement can allow smokers to quit too well. Only about four to seven percent of people can quit without the help of medicine, programs or support.
  • When the day ends, smoke does not come at all.
  • Avoid others like smoking or situations where you feel strong desires to smoke.
  • Because smoking is so great habit, normal routines can trigger requests. Try changing the daily routine to reduce these requests. For example, eating food in another place, trying different foods or taking different ways at work, are ways to mix things up.
  • When you want a cigarette, take deep breath, drop slow water, do something active to occupy or change activities.

While difficult, there are resources available to help those who depend on nicotine to succeed. Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line is a free service sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services that helps people stop vaping, smoking or other tobacco use. Call 800-784-8669 to talk with a coach to quit.

For more information on Great American Smoking Out or for more resources to quit, visit https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco / big-american-smokeout / history-of-the -store-american-smokeout.html.

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