Thursday marked the 44th Great American Smokeout, an annual challenge for smokers to quit and commit to their health. The event was launched by the American Cancer Society and is observed on the third Thursday of November each year.
Public health advocates working together as the Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition promoted the day throughout the state, stressing the harms of both tobacco use and vaping.
“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death,” NTPC members wrote in a statement. “Tobacco use kills more people than alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, fires, AIDS, murders and suicides combined.”
It’s costly as well, with Nevada’s Medicaid-associated costs from smoking totaling $124.9 million annually.
This year the challenge is even more important, they said, noting guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that “being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”
Those looking to quit either smoking or vaping can get free help from the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-855-DEJELO-YA for service in Spanish, or by visiting https://nevada.quitlogix.org/.
There is also a FREE confidential texting line for teens called My Life My Quit. To enroll, teens just need to text “Start My Quit” to 855-891-9989 or visit https://mylifemyquit.com/.