Great American Smokeout, Nov. 20: Smokers encouraged to quit

112014-smokeoutTOPEKA— The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is encouraging people to quit smoking as part of the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout on Thursday, Nov. 20. To help smokers who are ready to quit, KDHE offers cessation support and information online at www.KSquit.org or toll-free at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).

The American Cancer Society created the trademarked concept and held its first Great American Smokeout in 1976 as a way to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for a day. One million people quit smoking for a day at the 1976 event in California. The Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to commit to making a long-term plan to quit smoking for good.

“Even though enormous strides have been made in reducing death and disease from smoking in the last 50 years, we have much more work to do,” said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer. “I encourage people across Kansas to take a stand for their health on Nov. 20 when the Great American Smokeout offers a chance to feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself.”

According to the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health released this year, smokers today are much more likely to develop lung cancer than smokers were in 1964, when smoking was linked to lung cancer in the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. Between 1959 and 2010, lung cancer risk for smokers rose dramatically. Among female smokers, the risk increased tenfold and among male smokers, the risk doubled. One possible explanation for the higher rates of lung cancer is that filters and vent holes in most modern cigarettes may lead smokers to inhale more deeply, pulling dangerous chemicals farther into their lungs, according to the latest Surgeon’s General’s report.

When Kansans are ready to quit using tobacco, the Kansas Tobacco Quitline is ready to help online at www.KSquit.org or by phone 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669). The Quitline is a service provided at no cost to Kansas residents. Enrollment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week (except major holidays) online or by phone.

KDHE’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program manages the Kansas Tobacco Quitline and provides resources and technical assistance to community coalitions for development, enhancement and evaluation of state and local tobacco prevention initiatives. For additional information on the Kansas Tobacco Use Prevention Program visit www.kdheks.gov/tobacco. More information about the Great American Smokeout can be found at www.greatamericansmokeout.org. The 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health can be found at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-of-progress/index.html.

Information provided by Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

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