The Great American Smokeout: A Day To Be A Quitter

BELLOWS FALLS — Thursday, Nov. 21 is your day to be a quitter.

Each year, the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to use the third Thursday of November as the day to make a plan to quit. This year, Windham County prevention coalitions are promoting the Great American Smokeout by supporting activities in area schools and publicizing their local Vermont Quit Partners.

As a special promotion of this year's Great American Smokeout, Greater Falls Connections is sponsoring a free turkey raffle. The winner will receive a 16-18 pound, free-range turkey provided by Harlow's Organics, an organic family farm in Westminster. To enter, contact Laura Schairbaum at 802-463-9927, ext. 213.

Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. About 95,000 Vermonters smoke cigarettes, and 800 Vermonters die each year from tobacco-related diseases, according to the American Cancer Society.

According to the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), 18 percent of Windham County high school students smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days.

Local community prevention coalitions are committed to preventing the use of tobacco products among youth as well as providing tips and resources for smokers that want to quit. In 2011, 53,000 people or 55 percent of all Vermont smokers attempted to quit.

On Nov. 21, make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. By quitting for one day, you are taking a step toward a smoke-free future.

Quitting isn't easy. For support, connect with your local Vermont Quit Partner. The Vermont Quit Partners is a team of people in communities across Vermont devoted to providing support and motivation to help Vermont tobacco users through the quitting process.

Windham County residents can call Terri Kneipp at 802-257-8876. She runs cessation classes every Wednesday at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital from 9 to 10 a.m., and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. For a class schedule at Springfield Hospital, call Michelle Kuusela at 802-886-8946.

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