People who smoke or use other forms of tobacco are encouraged to quit for one day for the Great American Smokeout on Thursday, Nov. 18. 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. Smokers who use counseling, nicotine-replacement therapy or a combination of the two are more likely to quit for good.
Personal free quit services are available through Kick It California (formerly California Smoker’s Helpline) at KickItCA.org or 1-800-300-8086. You will find resources for quitting vaping there, too. Nicotine-replacement therapy is available to clients of Open Door Community Health Centers and United Indian Health Services, or through your medical provider. People who smoke should consult with their doctors to determine if medication is a good option.
Californians who smoke a pack a day can spend more than $3,000 a year on cigarettes. The ACS says each pack results in $35 in health-related costs to the smoker, which is nearly $13,000 a year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that smoking continues to be the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S.
Recently, the CDC added smoking to the list of conditions that place someone at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, because tobacco smoke and aerosol from vaping harm the cells of the lungs and weaken the ability to respond to infection.
For more information about the Great American Smokeout, visit cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/.
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