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Published on October 31, 2006

KCH Encourages Smokers to Take Part in the Great American Smokeout

October 31, 2006

You know smoking is bad for your health. You're tired of coughing and smelling like an ashtray. You want to quit. But you just can't seem to get it done.

Kishwaukee Community Hospital encourages you to join other smokers with the same goal and take part in the upcoming American Cancer Society's (ACS) Great American Smokeout.

The Great American Smokeout takes place annually on the third Thursday in November, which this year falls on Nov. 16. The event challenges people to smoke less or to quit for at least one day. It also raises awareness of the many effective ways to quit smoking for good. “The smokeout is a great time for smokers to team up and kick their smoking habit together, says KCH Community Health Nurse Joyce Davidson, RN. “The support network developed when many people quit smoking at the same time can be helpful in avoiding the temptation to return to smoking.”

It is important to develop a plan for quitting. First, you must select a date to quit. Choose the date of the Great American Smokeout, or pick another date not too far down the road. Circle it on your calendar, and make a strong commitment to quit on that day.

The ACS also advises that you:

  • Tell family and friends about your quit date.
  • Stock up on oral substitutes, such as sugarless gum and carrot sticks.
  • Decide on a method to help you quit. You may want to use nicotine replacement products or sign up for a support group.
  • Get rid of all cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays and other smoking-related items.
  • Stay physically active. Exercise can help you fight cigarette cravings.
  • And last, but not least, stand in front of a mirror and practice saying, No thank you. I don't smoke.

Benefits of quitting
No matter how old you are, quitting smoking will improve your health. When you quit, the ACS says, you:

  • Decrease your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
  • Reduce your risk of lung and other types of cancer.
  • Improve your circulation and lung function.
  • Lower your blood pressure.

Kishwaukee Community Hospital offers a Smoking Cessation class that gives you the help you may need to reach your smoke-free goal. For more information, or to sign up for the class, call 815.748.8962.

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