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American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smokeout” educates, encourages to stop smoking

American Cancer Society hosts the "Great American Smokeout" Nov. 18, 2021
American Cancer Society hosts the "Great American Smokeout" Nov. 18, 2021(WBNG 12 News)
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 12:49 AM EST
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- “Any time there’s a day like this, it gives us an opportunity to really all work together on a unified front and get a message out there,” said Binghamton University’s College Prevention Coordinator Linda Reynolds.

The American Cancer Society’s message is to heighten people’s awareness of the dangers of smoking and to encourage a plan to quit.

“Addiction to nicotine, as you know, is a very aggressive and significant issue,” said Jamie Kane, the associate director with the American Cancer Society. “It does take quite a bit of resources to actually quit using tobacco products.”

Kane says the best first step is to seek help, which could come from talking to a loved one, a family member, or friend. He says it’s all about getting extra support during the quitting process.

“Identify your ‘why,’ said Reynolds. “...Knowing your ‘why’ and going in with a plan, I think, is a really important piece of the puzzle.”

The Broome County Health Department says while the rates of cigarette smoking have declined over the decades, some groups still smoke at higher rates than other groups.

“These populations tend to be those who experience other inequities in many areas of their lives,” said Public Health Educator Laura Kelly with the Broome County Health Department.

To address the issue in addition to the “Great American Smokeout” is New York’s “It’s Not Just” campaign”.

“To bring awareness to the injustices that the African American community faces when it comes to tobacco and menthol product marketing and promotion,” said Kelly.

When it comes to awareness, it applies to e-cigarettes and the traditional form.

The health department advises that if someone is looking to begin the journey to quit smoking, to reach out to the New York Smokers’ Quitline for resources at 1-866-NY-QUITS.

The American Cancer Society also has tips to begin the process on its website.