Great American Smokeout this Thursday!

November 18 2013

SITKA — November 21st marks the 38th annual American Cancer Society‘s Great American Smokeout (ACS GASO), a day highlighting the dangers of tobacco use and the challenges of quitting. ACS GASO encourages smokers to use the annual date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. The number one thing tobacco users can do to improve their health and extend their life is to quit.

The SEARHC Tobacco Program, Sitka Community Hospital, and Sitkans for Health Coalition members will have a booth at AC Lakeside Grocery from 4-6pm on Thursday, November 21st, to share information about programs that assist tobacco users to quit the habit for the day, and for life. A drawing will take place with the grand prize of a frozen turkey, encouraging people to quit with nicotine replacement and support or “cold turkey”.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in Alaska, causing nearly 600 deaths each year. In fact, tobacco use causes more deaths each year in Alaska than suicide, motor vehicle crashes, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, homicide and HIV/AIDS combined. Reducing the use of tobacco in Alaska begins one person at a time. Smoke-free policies can also help people to quit tobacco, protect people from the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure, and reduce youth initiation.

Quitting tobacco is hard, but getting help increases the chances of success. Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line is free and confidential, and provides the resources and support that can increase chances of quitting successfully. To learn more call, Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit alaskaquitline.com or facebook.com/alaskaquitline. For assistance locally to quit tobacco, call Patrick Williams at Sitka Community Hospital at 747-0349. For more information on ACS GASO, visit cancer.org/smokeout.