Health & Safety

November 15, 2012

Today is the great American Smokeout

Kimberly Beetle
Community Health Nurse, Preventive Medicine Weed Army Community Hospital NTC and Fort Irwin

In the months approaching 2013 we begin to contemplate the New Year and determine what we will choose as our resolution to better ourselves. Many Americans will pledge to lose weight, get a better job, and learn a new skill, yet how many will make the life changing decision to quit smoking?

Great news! There’s no need to wait for the New Year to make a fresh start. For the past 37 years the American Cancer Society (ACS) has upheld their resolution to help Americans make the choice to quit smoking. Today, ACS asks you to join them for their annual Great American Smokeout as they encourage Americans to make a plan to quit, or show their support by abstaining from tobacco and nicotine use for the day.

Not sure if you can resist the craving for a whole day? According to the United States Surgeon General:

  • Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of premature death in the U.S. with over 7,000 chemical and compounds classifying it as a human carcinogen (cancer causing agent).
  • Tobacco use kills over 6 million people a year worldwide and secondhand smoke affects over 600,000 people a year resulting in lung cancer, and increased rate of asthma and respiratory illness in children.

Let me guess, you’ve heard it all before? You already know all the negative effects smoking has on your health, and you’ve been told over and over again you should quit? Take this opportunity and join us today. Make the decision to quit while it’s still a choice.

Over the past 20 years the U.S. government has established several laws regarding use of tobacco in public and private areas, marketing of tobacco products and the importance of educating both youth and adults alike in the harmful effects of tobacco use. Several U.S. cities have created smoking bans for restaurants and indoor public places; some have also established laws encompassing entire cities where tobacco smoke in public (to include outdoors) is illegal. The city of Loma Linda, just down the hill from us has been a tobacco free city since 2008. It is officially punishable by law to be found smoking anywhere in the city to include the sidewalks, parks, and even within reasonable distance from buildings. Only those that own their own home may smoke on their own property. Rentals, leases and government housing are off limits as well.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to make the decision to quit smoking. The Army provides free resources for military families as well as DOD civilians and contractors working on Fort Irwin. You should also discuss your interest to quit with your healthcare provider who can help you decide which plans and medications may work best for you. For more information on quitting tobacco, to create a quit plan, or for information and education please visit ucanquit2.org or contact Preventive Medicine at 380-3235.




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