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News & Information

Quit Smoking During the Annual Great American Smokeout®

Release Date: November 15, 2018
The Sussex County Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health, in partnership with Atlantic Health System and Tobacco Free for a Healthy New Jersey, wants to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit smoking on November 15, 2018.

(Hamburg, NJ) Are you or your loved one thinking about quitting smoking? Take the first step during the American Cancer Society's 43rd Annual Great American Smokeout (GASO)! The Sussex County Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health, in partnership with Atlantic Health System and Tobacco Free for a Healthy New Jersey, wants to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit smoking on November 15, 2018. This year's theme is called "Day 1" to reflect the importance of smoking cessation. These community partners are encouraging Sussex County residents to commit or recommit to living healthy, smoke-free lives - not just for a day, but all year round.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, accounting for 29% of all cancer deaths. In fact, smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, HIV, guns, and illegal drugs combined. Smoking not only causes cancer, but it damages nearly every organ in the body, including the lungs, heart, blood vessels, reproductive organs, mouth, skin, eyes, and bones.

Addiction to nicotine in cigarettes is one of the strongest and most deadly addictions one can develop. While cigarette smoking rates have dropped (from 42% in 1965 to 15.5% in 2016), about 37.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. The American Cancer Society stated that each year approximately 20 million American smokers try to quit, representing more than half of smokers in the U.S. An even greater percentage of smokers (68%) report being interested in quitting, however, only about 7% successfully quit smoking.

Quitting is difficult for many people who smoke and often takes more than one quit attempt. It has been reported that the average smoker makes six to ten quit attempts in their lifetime. Quitting takes commitment and also requires a lot of support. Friends and family can be another source of support and encouragement.

A good place to start is by making a quit plan and using proven smoking cessation methods. Getting help through counseling and/or prescription medications can double or triple the chances of quitting successfully. Since support is important, using resources such as smoking cessation programs and quit lines such as NJ Quitline, Mom's Quit Connection, the American Cancer Society's Freshstart program, Nicotine Anonymous meetings, self-help books and pamphlets, and smoking counselors/coaches can be a great help.

The American Cancer Society is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support that ranges from answering questions about quitting smoking to finding national or local resources to help you quit. To find out more, visit www.cancer.org/smokeout external link or call 1-800-227-2345.

For more information about smoking cessation programs, please visit Tobacco Free for a Healthy New Jersey at www.tobaccofreenj.com external link, NJ Quitline at http://njquitline.org external link, Mom's Quit Connection at www.MomsQuit.com external link and Atlantic Health System at www.atlantichealth.org external link.

For more information about the Great American Smokeout and other smoking cessation resources in Sussex County, please contact Tracy Storms-Mazzucco at tstorms@sussex.nj.us or 973-579-0570, ext. 1233.