Great American Smokeout encourages quitting

Local groups, organizations team to offer assistance during American Cancer Society's annual event

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By JOSH NICHOLS
Daily Press writer
Try to put 'em out, at least for one day.
The American Cancer Society is encouraging people to quit smoking during "The Great American Smokeout," Thursday.
Locally, The Memorial Hospital, Grand Futures Prevention Coalition and the Visiting Nurse Association are teaming up to encourage people to quit smoking.
"We're asking anyone who is not a smoker to adopt someone who does smoke, and help them not smoke for a day," said Pam Thompson, community relations director for TMH.
In addition to the buddy system, the Visiting Nurse Association contacted local restaurants and encouraged them to keep their establishments smoke free for the day. Many complied, Thompson said.
"They will have place cards on the table that thank the smokers for not smoking and provide some information on how to stop smoking and a toll-free number to call for assistance," she said.
The phone number Thompson referred to is the new toll-free hotline implemented to help people quit smoking.
At 1(800) 639-QUIT, a counselor is available to talk with people who need assistance in quitting.
According to a press release, the goal of the Great American Smokeout is to encourage people to quit smoking by taking it one day at a time. The Smokeout is an annual event held on the third Thursday of November every year.
Dr. David B. Badesch, the clinical director of the University of Colorado Hospital's Pulmonary Hypertension Center, said smoking is responsible for 87 percent of diagnosed lung cancers.
"Every year close to 360,000 Americans die of lung disease," he said. "Responsible for one in seven deaths, lung disease ranks as America's third most common cause of death and the most common cancer-related cause of death among both men and women."
Dr. Badesch outlined several tips that might assist people in their effort to quit smoking.
Understand your motivation. Understand why you want to quit and set a reasonable goal.
Prepare for your success. Have a day set aside when you know you want to quit.
Decide on your method of quitting, whether it be quitting cold turkey or using an over-the-counter drug.
Avoid temptation by staying away from smoking areas. One should also throw away all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays.

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