The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, Nov. 17. People who use tobacco are encouraged to quit for one day and make a plan to quit for good.
The Tobacco Education Network, a part of the Humboldt Allies for Substance Use Prevention coalition, and the American Cancer Society (ACS) urge tobacco users to take advantage of local resources that can help them quit during this annual event.
According to the ACS, about 34 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. The 2019-2020 California Student Tobacco Survey found that youth attending school in far Northern California were in the group of highest prevalence of tobacco use. The same survey found that youth from rural communities are at higher risk for using tobacco products and are also less likely to be protected by tobacco control policies.
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 or nicotine-replacement therapy, or a combination of the two, are more likely to quit for good.
Free quit counseling services and information are available through Kick It California at KickItCA.org or 1-800-300-8086. Resources for quitting vaping and smokeless chewing tobacco can be found 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 use tobacco or other nicotine products should consult with their doctors to determine if medication is a good option.
For more information about the Great American Smokeout, visit https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html.
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