Every third Thursday in November, tobacco users are encouraged to make a plan and set a date to quit for life, or pledge to be smoke-free for 24 hours as a part of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. This year’s Great American Smokeout is on Nov. 17.
To promote this event in Juneau, informational booths will be set up for the week of Nov. 14-18 in the main lobbies at the SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center and the SEARHC Dental/Behavioral Health Clinic. On Prince of Wales Island, an informational table will be set up in support of this event on Nov. 17, at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock, at the Alma Cook Health Center in Hydaburg and at the Kasaan Health Center.
The Great American Smokeout’s goal is to motivate smokers to quit using tobacco, while also raising awareness about effective quitting techniques and programs. An estimated 46 million adults in the United States smoke and approximately half will die prematurely from smoking.
The SEARHC Tobacco Quit Program is open to all SEARHC Native patients. The program offers one year of behavioral support and three months of free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, such as gum, lozenges and patches. According to the U.S. Public Health Service, tobacco users are six times more likely to quit with behavioral support and NRT products than when they try to quit “cold turkey.”
For more information about the Great American Smokeout and the SEARHC Tobacco Quit Program in Juneau, please call SEARHC Tobacco Health Educator Rowena Reeves at 364-4440. For information about POW, call SEARHC Tobacco Health Educator Sandra Demmert at 755-4925. SEARHC patients outside Juneau and Prince of Wales can call 888-966-8875 to learn about tobacco quit services. Another resource for quit support is Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Program at 800-QUIT-NOW, which can help SEARHC non-Native patients.