Wednesday, November 24, 2010
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Great American Smokeout Scheduled Today

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY- Have you been thinking about quitting cigarette smoking? Why not try right now?

The Great American Smokeout, being held today, challenges cigarette smokers across America to give up smoking for one day. It is designed to motivate and empower smokers with personalized tools, tips, and support to help them quit for good.

According to The American Cancer Society, the Great American Smokeout grew out of a 1971 event in Randolph, MA, in which Arthur P. Mullaney asked people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money they would have spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund. On November 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society succeeded in getting nearly one million smokers to quit for the day. The first national Great American Smokeout was held in 1977.

Over twenty years later, two significant events occurred, as the government weighed in on the dangers of smoking. In 1999, the Department of Justice filed suit against cigarette manufacturers, charging the industry with defrauding the public by lying about the risks of smoking. Also that year, the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) was passed, requiring tobacco companies to pay $206 billion to 45 states by the year 2025 to cover Medicaid costs of treating smokers. The MSA agreement also closed the Tobacco Institute and ended cartoon advertising and tobacco billboards. For more information on the history of the Great American Smokeout visit

Over thirty years later, things have changed for both smokers and non-smokers. Many cities, including Paducah, KY, banned smoking in restaurants and other public places. Smoking is no longer seen as cool, but dangerous to one’s health. The dangers of second-hand smoke have been reported. Yet, The American Cancer Society says tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States.

For most smokers, cigarette smoking is not just merely a habit they enjoy, but an addiction they cannot break on their own. Studies on nicotine addiction and its effects have been used to help many smokers quit through nicotine replacement therapy.
Doctors are using the Great American Smokeout to encourage and educate smokers who want to quit. Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah is offering a “Quit Now” smoking cessation program today with three different sessions; the first begins at 7:00 a.m.  The midday session begins at 11:00 a.m. and the afternoon session is at 5:00 p.m.  Phone (270) 575-2895 for an appointment for your free one-on-one consultation with a physician.
If you don’t feel you can quit on your own, seek the help and advice of others. Smoking cessation classes are available at many hospitals regionally and locally. They offer advice and guidance on nicotine replacement therapy.
For more information on the Great American Smokeout visit,

Additional information for this article was obtained from the American Cancer Society.

Jason Travis
iSurf News

Posted by Karen Orange - iSurf News


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