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Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

ACS marks 37th Great American Smokout

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pictured with the staff of the Bedford County Health Department, are, seated, from left to right: Tammy Anderson, Bedford County Health Council Chairperson, Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray and Bedford County Health Department Director, Angie Faulkner. Ray is signing a proclamation for the Great American Smokeout.
(Submitted photo)
As the official sponsor of birthdays, the American Cancer Society has marked the 37th Great American Smokeout on Nov. 15 by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. According to an American Cancer Society report, people who quit, at any age, live longer than people who continue to smoke.

Smokers who want to quit can call the American Cancer Society for free telephone coaching at (800) 227-2345 for tobacco cessation and coaching services that can help increase their chances of quitting for good. The Society also has online tools at www.cancer.org/Smokeout such as a crave button and a quit clock to help smokers plan towards kicking the habit for good.

Research shows that much of the risk of premature death from smoking could be prevented by quitting. Smokers who quit, regardless of age, live longer than people who continue to smoke. Smokers who quit reduce their risk of lung cancer -- 10 years after quitting, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. Quitting also lowers the risk for other major diseases including heart disease and stroke.

"Quitting smoking is an important step towards staying well and creating a world with more birthdays," said Tammy Anderson, Bedford County Health Council chairperson. "The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout is a great first step towards quitting or making a plan to quit, and the Society can help smokers through a variety of resources including personalized telephone coaching by trained specialists."

The American Cancer Society created the trademarked concept for and held its first Great American Smokeout in 1976 as a way to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for a day. One million people quit smoking for a day at the 1976 event in California. The Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to commit to making a long-term plan to quit smoking for good.

Important facts about tobacco use:

* Tobacco use remains the world's most preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States.

* Cigarette smoking is responsible for nearly one in five deaths, or about 443,000 premature deaths each year.

* Thirty percent of cancer deaths, including 80 percent of lung cancer deaths, can be attributed to smoking.

* Smoking accounts for more than $193 billion in health care expenditures and productivity losses annually.

To learn more about the ACS or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.