MedWatch: The Great American Smokeout

MedWatch: Great American Smokeout

LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) -The American Cancer Society sets aside the third Thursday of every November to encourage tobacco users to quit at least for one day. It’s called the Great American Smokeout.

For more than 40 years, the American Cancer Society has hosted the Great American Smokeout, which encourages those using tobacco products to quit at least for one day, but they hope this day will motivate you to quit for a lifetime.

“Tobacco use, is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and Oklahoma. It causes more death than homicides, suicides, traffic, HIV, all of those,” said Sandy Foster, Healthy Living Program Director.

Foster says they are hoping that this day shows people that they can quit. She says there are many services to help you quit, including the Oklahoma tobacco helpline. Their services include web coaching, phone calls and text messages. She says all you have to do is call to see what all you are eligible for.

“They provide free services to all Oklahoman’s that want to quit smoking,” said Foster. “And we’re the only state that has offered free 2 weeks patches and gums to those that qualify.”

Dr. Richard Brittingham, an internal medicine physician, says if we want our children to out live their parents we need to continue to do something about the tobacco problem.

“It’s highly addictive,” said Dr. Brittingham. “More addictive than cocaine. That’s been demonstrated. Follows the same neuropathways in the brain as cocaine or any other addictive drug. I really can’t think of anything more dangerous than a bullet, than cigarettes.”

Dr. Brittingham says it often takes more than one try to quit using tobacco products but the important part is that you try.

“Most people have tried to quit smoking in the past, and just feel like they can’t do it or they will fail,” said Dr. Brittingham. “So when you set that mentality up that you’re going to fail... then if you believe it’s going to be true, you’re probably going to make it happen. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

If you or someone you know needs help kicking the habit you can call the Oklahoma tobacco helpline at 1-800-quit- now or visit okhelpline.com.

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