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Great American Smoke Out

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Marlissa Slusher
  • 43rd Medical Support Squadron
The Great American Smoke Out, which started in 1977, is an annual event in the United States which encourages Americans to quit smoking tobacco. It is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and is held on the third Thursday in November. This year it takes place on Nov. 19. The purpose of this day is to challenge people to smoke less or quit for the entire day, in hopes the decision to quit lasts forever. This event takes place across the nation to make smokers more aware of all the tools they can use to quit for good. There are many tools available to help kick the habit, for example, nicotine replacement products such as the patch or gum, counseling or stop-smoking groups and prescription medicine to help lessen cravings.

Top 10 Reasons to quit smoking

1. Live Longer. At least 400,000 people die a year from smoking; it is one of the top killers in America. Smokers die on average around 12 years earlier than non smokers.

2. Save Money. Smoking is too expensive. A pack costs upwards of $5, adding up to about $1,500 a year. Think of what could be done with that money.

3. Breathe Easier. Smoking leads to many different medical conditions and may cause the need for an inhaler or oxygen machine. It also causes you to have less endurance, which Airmen need for physical training tests.

4. Fire Prevention. More people die in fires started by cigarettes than in any other type of fire. The fire most often starts because cigarettes are improperly discarded or abandoned.

5. Help the country be healthier. Over 40,000 people die from exposure to secondhand smoke each year. Many states have implemented laws that do not allow smoking in public places.

6. Better dental hygiene. Smoking causes discoloration in your teeth, causing them to turn yellow. It also causes bad breath. Don't be that guy in your shop.

7. Smell better. Regardless of how clean you are, smoking just one cigarette can make your skin, clothing and hair smell like an ashtray.

8. Look better. Smoking can age a person by 10 years.

9. Be more productive. Nicotine often makes people agitated and makes them lose their concentration. More can be accomplished at work by not taking excessive cigarette breaks to feed a bad habit.

10. Have more energy. Smoking increases carbon monoxide in the blood causing fatigue and headaches.