Smokers urged to just #8216;butt out#039; Thursday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Picking a date can be an essential part of quitting smoking, and for the 29th year, the American Cancer Society is suggesting Thursday, the day of its annual Great American Smokeout.

During the smokeout, the ACS encourages smokers to put down their packs and reminds others never to start lighting up.

&#8220It's primarily for awareness,” said Maxine Lewis, spokesperson for the Lawrence County Health Department. &#8220We just want to make people aware that this is a good health practice, that it's something that can be done and that this could be their quit date. And we hope it's something they don't just do for one day, but that they do for the rest of their lives.”

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The American Cancer Society says that choosing a specific date doubles the chances that a quit attempt will be successful.

&#8220Setting a day is important because it gives a person that starting point. A lot of times people will want to quit, but they put it off, it's always going to be in the future,” Lewis said. &#8220By having that specific date that they're going to put down their cigarettes gives them that starting point.”

Lewis suggests not quitting alone. Not only should family and friends be asked for support, but she said potential quitters may find some help from tobacco replacement aid like gums, patches and lozenges. Of these, she said that patch is most effective simply for its ease of use.

One of the most difficult methods, although maybe more appropriate so close to Thanksgiving, is to quit &#8220cold turkey” without the help of any aids.

&#8220Some people can do that Š others can't,” Lewis said. &#8220it depends on how much will power you have and how much determination you really have to do that. Some people are successful, but many people are not.”

Additional help is also available by calling the Ohio Tobacco Quit line at (800) QUIT-NOW.

Even restaurants are doing their part, making their restaurants officially smoke-free during the Smokeout.

Some little non-smokers are getting into the act. Fourth graders from Symmes Valley, Fairland East, Burlington, Dawson-Bryant, Chesapeake and St. Lawrence are working to further the cause.

During the Smokeout, shoppers at Pick ‘n' Save, Coal Grove, Proctorville and South Point Food Fairs and R & D Grocery and Dickess Grocery, both of Aid, will receive their groceries in bags decorated with the handprint of a fourth grader who has made the commitment to be tobacco free.