SPONSORED: Great American Smoke Out Event Set for Tomorrow

Screenshot at Nov 15 21-44-02Armstrong Indiana Clarion Drug & Alcohol Commission is encouraging tobacco users to commit or recommit to healthy, smoke-free lives by participating in the American Cancer Society’s 46th Annual Great American Smokeout® event on Thursday, November 18.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for 29% of all cancer deaths. In fact, smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, HIV, guns, and illegal drugs combined. Smoking not only causes cancer. It damages nearly every organ in the body, including the lungs, heart, blood vessels, reproductive organs, mouth, skin, eyes, and bones.

Addiction to nicotine in cigarettes and vaping devices is one of the strongest and most deadly addictions one can have. 99% of all vaping juices and pods contain nicotine. While cigarette smoking rates have declined (from 20.9% in 2005 to 14.0% in 2019), about 34.1 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. Each year, approximately 20 million American smokers try to quit, representing more than half of the 34.1 million smokers in the U.S. Only about 1.4 million (7%) succeed. An even greater percentage of smokers (68%) report being interested in quitting.

Teen electronic cigarette use has skyrocketed by 80% over the past year, and 68 individuals have died due to effects of vaping nationally. It has been reported in 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. In 2017, 2.8 percent of U.S. adults were current e-cigarette users. According to the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) data, 26.3% of Clarion County students in grades 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th have vaped in the past 30 days, which is higher than the state average. From these grade levels in Clarion County, 48.4% believed they were just vaping flavoring, 59.1% said nicotine, 13.0% said they vaped marijuana (THC), 1.6% said other substances, and 12.5% said they did not know what they were vaping.

Quitting any type of tobacco product is hard. It takes commitment and starts with a plan, often takes more than one quit attempt, and requires a lot of support. Getting help through counseling and/or prescription medications can double or triple your chances of quitting successfully. Support is also important. Smoking cessation programs, telephone quit lines, the American Cancer Society’s Freshstart program, Nicotine Anonymous meetings, self-help materials such as books and pamphlets, and smoking counselors or coaches can be a great help.

Armstrong Indiana Clarion Drug & Alcohol Commission (AICDAC) is partnering with the American Cancer Society to provide information about the 24/7 quit line to provide support as people make their plan to stop. For free vaping cessation resources, please visit mylifemyquit.com or text “Start My Quit” to 855-891-9989. More information about smoking cessation is available at cancer.org/smokeout or by calling 1-800-227-2345 to quit smoking. For Clarion County services, please contact AICDAC at 814-226-6350.

Clarion County Resources:
• Northwest Pennsylvania Tobacco Control Program, 814-758-1919
• AICDAC, 814-226-6350
Other Resources:
• American Lung Association: www.lung.org
• Become an Ex: www.becomeanex.org
• Breath Pennsylvania: www.breathepa.org/
• Kill the Can: www.killthecan.org
• SmokeFree: www.smokefree.gov
• Quit.com: www.quit.com
• Quitnet.com: www.quitnet.meyouhealth.com
• Tobacco QuitLine: 800-784-8669
• My Life My Quit: www.mylifemyquit.com

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