Annual event encourages tobacco users to stop for a day

Taking just one day off from smoking can be the first step in quitting for good, and this Thursday could be that day for people across the country.

The Great American Smoke-Out is this Thursday, Nov. 16, a day sponsored by the American Cancer Society to try and encourage smokers to quit. In Juneau in particular, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is encouraging people to take part in this event.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease, according to the Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, killing 573 people in Alaska last year. Among Alaska adult smokers polled in 2015, 68 percent of them wanted to quit, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Those looking to quit can call the Alaska Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or go to www.alaskaquitline.com. Through that program, people can get free nicotine replacement medication, individual coaching and informational materials.

In Juneau, SEARHC offers Freedom From Smoking groups, and those interested in attending can contact Leah Neff Warner at leaht@searhc.org or 364-4549.

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