Press release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health:
Smokers urged to “kick butts” on Thursday
(November 17, 2010) – The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health and Tobacco Free Allen County are urging smokers to kick the habit at least for 24 hours in celebration of the 34th annual Great American Smokeout.
A rally will be held Thursday, Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library’s main branch in downtown Fort Wayne to encourage smokers to quit and to advocate for a statewide smoking ban.
The Great American Smokeout (GASO), designated annually as the third Thursday in November, serves as a powerful reminder of the negative impact of smoking and the importance of cessation efforts. Since the first GASO in 1977, the percentage of adult smokers in America has dropped from 34 percent to 21 percent.
Despite the progress, more than 440,000 people in the U.S. die every year still from tobacco-related disease, according to the American Lung Association. Indiana is sixth in the country with respect to the percentage of adults who smoke cigarettes.
On Thursday, an estimated 11 million smokers nationwide will pledge to quit for a day.
“Quitting smoking is one of the single most important lifestyle changes people can make to improve their health and extend their lives,” says Dr. Deborah McMahan, Allen County Health Commissioner “The Great American Smokeout is an annual challenge that gives people a reason to quit and beat the addiction for good.”
Approximately 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit each year, but only about five percent of smokers are successful long-term. The good news for smokers is that there are more resources available to help than ever before.
“We now have more medications that can assist people who want to quit and more support in terms of counseling and treatment programs that have really improved the quit rates,” McMahan says.
Lutheran Health Network and Parkview Health both offer tobacco cessation classes. Support programs are also available online and over the phone.
For more assistance, call the Indiana Tobacco Quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or Tobacco Free Allen County at 260-420-7484.
“Kick Butts Rally”
Thursday, Nov. 18
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Allen County Public Library (downtown)
Help with Quitting Smoking
- Tobacco Intervention Program (TIP): A one-on-one tobacco cessation program with a respiratory therapist at Lutheran Hospital. Call 260-435-7094.
- Smoke Buster’s Support Group: The group meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 6- 7p.m. in the Lutheran Hospital Cancer Resource Center. Call 260-435-7959.
- “It’s Timeâ€¦Nicotine Independence Program”: Call (260) 373-4375. Women who desire quitting assistance during pregnancy can call Parkview Women’s Health Center at 260-672-6500.
- Corporate cessation classes: Tobacco Free Allen County will provide cessation classes for employees of companies that are smoke free. Call 260-420-7484 to make program arrangements.
- Indiana Tobacco Quit line: 1-800-Quit Now (1-800-784-8669). Free phone-based counseling service available seven days a week.