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Smokers are encouraged to quit tobacco use for one day for the Great American Smokeout Thursday, Nov. 21. The Tobacco Education Network, a part of the Humboldt Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention coalition, and the American Cancer Society (ACS) urge smokers to take advantage of local resources that can help them quit during this annual event.
Getting help through counseling and/or prescription medications can double or triple a smoker’s chances of quitting successfully, according to the ACS, and smokers who use counseling, nicotine-replacement therapy or a combination of the two are more likely to quit for good.
Nicotine-replacement therapy is available at Open Door Community Health Centers or United Indian Health Services (UIHS). Health centers at Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods can provide students resources for quitting nicotine as well. Telephone counseling is accessible through the California Smoker’s Helpline at 800-NO-BUTTS. Smokers should consult with their doctors to determine if medication is a good option.
E-cigarettes, also known as vapes, are not tested or recommended to help people quit. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends refraining from vaping any substance no matter its source due to a deadly outbreak of vaping-related lung illness. According to the most recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 42 deaths have been linked to vaping-related lung illness since August, four of those in California.
Californians who smoke a pack a day can spend up to $3,000 a year on cigarettes. The ACS says each pack results in $35 in health costs to the smoker, which is nearly $13,000 a year. The CDC reports that smoking continues to be the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S.
Contact Open Door Community Health Centers at 707-441-1624 and UIHS at 707-825-5000. For more information on the Great American Smokeout, visit cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/.
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