The Great American Smokeout, an annual day that encourages people to quit smoking and sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is set for Thursday, Nov. 21. 

According to a press release, the society is encouraging all smokers to put down their cigarettes and try quitting, if only for the day. 

With a recent outbreak of lung injuries relating to vaping, “it might be a good day for users to kick that habit as well,” it was stated in the press release. The same strategies and tools for quitting cigarettes work for quitting the vaping habit as well. 

Participation in the Great American Smokeout can be a way to kick off a lifetime free from tobacco and nicotine addiction. 

According to the press release, many changes happen in a smoker’s body when they stop, and some will begin to heal right away. However, quitting may not be easy. Many tobacco users need to make multiple attempts before the succeed in kicking the habit. 

One of the most commonly chosen methods of quitting is “cold turkey” and is also the least effective method, according to the press release. Abstaining from all tobacco products is a key part of most attempts to quit but adding some support and making a plan can lead to higher rates of long-term success. 

Smokers who combine nicotine replacement (patch, gum, lozenge, etc.) with medication and support are most likely to remain tobacco free, according to numerous sources, it was stated in the press release.

The American Cancer Society offers a number of strategies to help (available in both English and Spanish) at www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/guide-quitting-smoking.html or http://www.cancer.org/es/saludable/mantengase-alejado-del-tabaco/guia-para-dejar-de-fumar.html.

There are also resources such as www.smokefree.gov which offers text-based programs, apps and information for veterans, women and Spanish speakers, among others.

There is also the California Smokers Helpline, 1-800-NO-BUTTS, which offers free phone counseling in both Spanish and English. 

“No matter what method you choose, quitting smoking or vaping is a great way for anyone to improve their health and wellbeing,” it was stated in the press release.

For information on local resources to quit in Colusa County, contact Amanda Pitts, project director for the Colusa County Tobacco Education Program, at 458-0381.

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