Shirley Dubois
Shirley Dubois
By Shirley Dubois

We know overcoming the obstacle of addiction can feel like a personal competition, but Howard County Tobacco Free and the Indiana University Kokomo Health Sciences Club are on the same team when it comes to knocking out cigarettes.

That is why we are thrilled to throw our hat in the ring, proudly announcing that we have partnered together to take part in the Great American Smokeout event on Thursday, Nov. 19.

The Great American Smokeout happens the third Thursday of every November to encourage smokers to make a plan, set a date and kick smoking to the curb for good. When you’re ready to quit, it’s important to tell your family, friends and colleagues that you’re quitting — they will help support and cheer you on.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature deaths in the U.S., yet about 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. IU Kokomo is one of the many campuses across the country taking part in the “1 Day Stand” campaign to raise awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke and help tobacco users quit.

“College is a time when young people are at a higher risk for starting smoking and transitioning from experimental to regular tobacco use,” says Dr. Jessica Henderson, assistant professor of health services. “We want to encourage lifelong healthy habits and ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone on campus. That’s why we are taking this stand and supporting those looking to quit.”

By quitting, even for one day, smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life — one that can lead to reducing their cancer risk. Quitting is hard. But the benefits to your health are almost immediate. Your blood vessels, heart, lungs and brain all start to function better within minutes and hours of your last cigarette. And in the long term, you’ll prevent a diagnosis of lung disease, COPD or even a heart attack you never saw coming. Those who stop smoking dramatically reduce their risk for heart attacks, asthma attacks, cancers and other diseases.

Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to learn more about help quitting or visit www.QuitNowIndiana.com or www.EQuitNow.com. To learn more about “Take a 1 Day Stand”, contact Brittney Anderson and the IU Kokomo Health Science Club or visit Breathe Easy Howard County on Facebook and BreatheEasyHoCo on Twitter.