Great American Smokeout returns Nov. 21

Quitting tobacco is not easy, with the hardest part usually being making the actual decision to quit. Today, there are multiple tobacco-cessation programs and a variety of aids available to fit specific needs. (Metro News Service photo)

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Quitting tobacco is not easy, with the hardest part usually being making the actual decision to quit. Today, there are multiple tobacco-cessation programs and a variety of aids available to fit specific needs. (Metro News Service photo)

Every year, the Thursday before Thanksgiving is the Great American Smokeout. This day of celebration challenges smokers to quit smoking for one day. Smoking accounts for more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States, and those who quit smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and premature death.

Quitting tobacco is not easy, with the hardest part usually being making the actual decision to quit. Today, there are multiple tobacco-cessation programs and a variety of aids available to fit specific needs.

While the cigarette smoking rate has dropped significantly from 42% in 1965 to less than 15.5% in 2016, e-cigarettes have surpassed traditional cigarettes as the most popular nicotine product among youth and young adults. In 2015, it was found that 16% of high school students and 5.3% of middle school students use e-cigarettes.

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The Surgeon General’s report found that the health effects of nicotine on the developing brain include interruption of the growth of brain circuits that control attention, learning and susceptibility to addiction. Recently, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates there have been 1,479 cases of lung injury and 33 deaths related to e-cigarette use across the United States. E-cigarette products not only contain nicotine but may also contain other harmful substances such heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing chemicals.

On Nov. 21 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., the Health and Wellness Center will set up a table display with information on tobacco cessation in the Wright-Field Fitness Center, Area B, gym lobby. The HAWC will also be available to provide information about tobacco awareness and cessation tools in the main Army & Air Force Exchange Service from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Call Michael Papio at 937-904-9358 with any questions and/or for information on options for a personalized quit plan.

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