Celebrate the Great American Smokeout (by NOT lighting a cigarette!)

November 17th marks the 36th Annual Great American Smokeout.

Despite all the publicity about the dangers of smoking, many Americans haven’t given up their cigarettes. And thousands of kids start smoking every day.

“The main message for tobacco users is this: It’s never too late to quit,” says Corinne Husten, M.D., MPH, a senior medical advisor at the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“However, there is real urgency to quitting as early in life as possible because every year dramatically increases the risk of getting a serious disease or dying,” says Husten. And no matter how long you’ve been a smoker, the risk of getting cancer and heart disease is greatly reduced in the subsequent years, she says.

Husten says one of the greatest obstacles in helping people stop smoking is the fact that tobacco use is so intertwined with the habits of their life. People may smoke with their morning coffee, for example, or after dinner. So quitting often means changing comfortable routines, which makes it harder.

Looking for a success story to share with you, I spoke with a fellow librarian, Anne Pepper, who shared her personal experience.

“It’s not impossible to quit smoking, it’s just not pleasant,” Anne said. “And it took me about eight tries before I was successful.”

When I asked her how she would be observe the Great American Smokeout today, she quipped “I’m going to celebrate by NOT having a cigarette!”

The majority of Kansas tobacco users want to quit, but have been unable to do so. Whether you want to quit now or get information for a loved one, the Kansas Tobacco Quitline can help.

Check out books like Kicking butts: quit smoking and take charge of your health and 100 questions & answers about how to quit smoking.

Learn more in the FDA article “Why is the Great American Smokeout Important?”

Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley helps people use the library. She is a Book Evangelist, Health Information Librarian, Arts & Crafts Librarian, Trivia Emcee, Classics Made Modern book group leader, and frequent library customer, especially with her children. She reads a new book every few days, but recently loved Adorkable by Sarra Manning, Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman and Tin Star by Cecil Castellucchi.