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SAFE in Juneau County and the South Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition are encouraging Juneau County residents to commit or recommit to healthy, smoke-free lives by participating in the American Cancer Society’s 43rd Great American Smokeout event on Nov. 15, 2018.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for 29 percent of all cancer deaths. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, HIV, guns, and illegal drugs combined. Smoking not only causes cancer. 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 have. While cigarette smoking rates have dropped, about 37.8 million Americans smoke cigarettes. Each year, approximately 20 million American smokers try to quit. Only about 1.4 million succeed. An even greater percentage of smokers report being interested in quitting.

Quitting is hard. It takes commitment and starts with a plan, often takes more than one quit attempt, and requires a lot of support. Getting help through counseling and/or prescription medications can double or triple your chances of quitting successfully. Support is also important. Smoking cessation programs, telephone quit lines, the American Cancer Society’s Freshstart program, Nicotine Anonymous meetings, self-help materials such as books and pamphlets, and smoking counselors or coaches can be a great help.

SAFE in Juneau County and the South Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition are partnering with the American Cancer Society, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide support as people make their plan to quit. More information is available at cancer.org/smokeout or by calling 1-800-227-2345. For more information about SAFE in Juneau County call Kelsey at (608) 847-9276.

Jennifer Froh, Juneau County Health Department 

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