The Great American Smoke-Out is Thursday the 21st, and I reached out to Peggy Paul, American Cancer Society's Senior Manager and Community Development to tell us why we still need a Smoke-Out. So, please welcome our guest blogger for the day!

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Ahhhh…cigarette smoking, remember when that was cool? Talk about a slick marketing campaign for a drug that is highly addictive and deadly?! It’s hard to believe that the Marlboro Man was the “it” guy, showing smoking was manly, tough, and strong for many years.

Well, my Marlboro man was my Grandpa Leo. He would smoke in his workshop and many times have a few cigarettes going at once, forgetting that he already lit one (or two) and left it on a different ashtray. I remember the cigarette smell, seeing the smoke clouds and hearing the cough that never seemed to go away.

I also remember my Grandpa, as a 70-year man, having a very difficult time getting around and doing any kind of activity (like walking) without being out of breath. He did quit smoking in his 70’s, but still suffered many years breathing painfully, and did eventually die from emphysema.

Peggy Paul - ACS Photo by James Rabe

Thursday, November 21 marks the 45th anniversary of the Great American Smoke-Out. When this campaign first started (in MN, interestingly enough), it was to encourage smokers to go one day without smoking, While the American Cancer Society still encourages that, we also encourage smokers to put a plan together for quitting. Whether you’re smoking, vaping or chewing, nicotine in any form is not good for you. Let me repeat, nicotine in any form is not good for you – and there is science to back up.

If you have a desire to quit smoking, check out the tools and resources available to you on cancer.org. You can also call 1-800-Quit Plan to connect with someone who is on your side and will support your efforts.

The key thing to remember is that you cannot do it alone. It’s critical to have a support network and to use the tools and resources to help get you over the hump. Take the first step, for your health’s sake.

 

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