Mississippi smokers are challenged to quit smoking “cold turkey” this Thanksgiving season as part of the American Cancer Society’s 2009 Great American Smokeout Event. The American Cancer Society designates the third Thursday of each November as a day for smokers across the United States to kick the smoking habit for 24 hours in the hope they will consider quitting for good.
Terry Hinton director of Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Coahoma And Tunica Counties, says there is plenty of help available for individuals who decide to nix the habit permanently.
“Mississippians who want to quit using tobacco can contact the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) Quit Line at 1-800 QUIT NOW to receive free counseling and medications, such as the patch or gum,” said Hinton.
Hinton says that the Great American Smokeout Event on Nov. 19 is a great day for smokers to plan to snuff out the cigarettes.
“It is a good idea to choose a day in advance and designate it as your day to quit smoking.,” said Hinton. “Once you’ve chosen your quit day, let your friends, family and coworkers know and ask for their support and understanding. Nicotine withdrawal can cause feelings of stress and anxiety, and having a support network around you can help in the difficult days ahead.”
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Each year in Mississippi, smoking accounts for an estimated 5,250 premature deaths, including 550 deaths among nonsmokers as a result of secondhand smoke. Sixty-nine thousand Mississippi kids now under 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
“With all of the resources available today to help, there has never been a better time to quit smoking,” said Hinton. “The Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Coahoma And Tunica Counties is here to help. If you smoke, make a plan to stop smoking during the Great American Smokeout on November 19.”
For more information visit the Mississippi State Department of Health’s website, www.healthyms.com/quit, or call the MSDH Quit Line at 1-800 QUIT NOW.