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The 2018 Great American Smokeout is Thursday, Nov. 15. The Washtenaw County Health Department is celebrating by encouraging smokers to use the day to quit, make a plan to quit, or reach out for support to quit. Their Wise Choices program and the Michigan Tobacco Quitline can help smokers take steps towards quitting – and towards improving their current and future health.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in Michigan, killing more than 16,200 residents each year. Twenty percent of Michigan adults smoke cigarettes, as well as over 10 percent of Michigan high school students. Fifteen percent of Michigan high school students use e-cigarettes. Each year, 4,400 Michigan kids become new, daily smokers.
“The Great American Smokeout is a perfect opportunity to start your quitting journey,” says Amanda Ng, health educator at the Washtenaw County Health Department. “There are several local resources that can help you succeed. If it’s your first time quitting or your hundredth, it’s worth doing. Every day you don’t use is healthier for you.”
The positive effects of quitting smoking are both short and long term. According to the American Cancer Society, the body begins to recover within minutes of quitting smoking. Heart rate and blood pressure drop, and within 12 hours carbon monoxide levels in blood return to normal. Benefits continue over time, including improved circulation and lung function, reduced risk of coronary heart disease and reduced risk of cancer.
Tobacco products are highly addictive and users may require several quit attempts before they are successful. However, there are proven resources available to help tobacco users quit. Quitters are most successful when using a combination of therapies, including resources such as nicotine replacement, counseling, self-help materials, and a strong support network of family and friends.
Wise Choices provides free health screenings and coaching to help Washtenaw County residents make small, healthy changes in their lives. To enroll or for more information, call 734-544-6700 and ask for Wise Choices.
Participants must be 18 or older and have a maximum yearly income of 400 percent of the poverty level. For a family of four, 400 percent of the poverty level is $100,400 a year. For a single individual, it is $48,560 a year.
The Michigan Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669) is an evidence-based service that helps smokers access quit aids, counseling and other resources. The service is available 24/7 in multiple languages.
The Michigan Tobacco Quitline provides free telephone coaching for the uninsured, pregnant women, residents enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare, veterans, cancer patients, and Native Americans. The Quitline provides services including materials, text messaging, an online program, and referral to all Michigan residents.
Individual tobacco users can contact the Quitline directly at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or enroll online at michigan.quitlogix.org. Providers in all health care settings are also encouraged to refer their patients and clients to the Quitline. Additional information, including a fax referral form for providers, is available on the website.
The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year. For more information visit www.cancer.org/smokeout.