Pueblo Celebrates the Great American Smokeout: a chance to quit!
Be a good role model. Be tobacco free.
Pueblo, CO – Pueblo City-County Health Department is teaming up with Colorado State University-Pueblo to “Smash the Pack” for the Great American Smokeout on November 21 to encourage tobacco users to quit.
Student Health Services and the Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Program at Colorado State University-Pueblo and the Pueblo City-County Health Department will encourage students, faculty, and staff to use November 21 as a day to quit using tobacco in recognition of the 38th annual Great American Smokeout. Informational booths will be in the Occhiato University Center from 10am-2pm encouraging participating in the anti-smoking event encouraging individuals to throw away their cigarette packs to begin a tobacco free life. Close to 2pm the container full of disposed tobacco products will be “smashed” to signify individual’s commitments to being a good role model and becoming tobacco free. The booths will also host a Smoker’s Roulette game, educational materials and many give-a-ways for those who decide to quit.
“The Great American Smokeout gives Colorado smokers a chance to join millions of Americans on Nov. 21 as they break free from the toxic effects of tobacco and secondhand smoke,” said Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods, public health director. “Smokers can use this day and the many resources available to make a plan to quit, quit for the day, or end their tobacco dependence forever.”
Though smoking rates have dropped since the first Great American Smokeout in 1976, tobacco use remains the leading cause of death and disease in Colorado, killing more than 4,300 smokers each year and costing the state billions of dollars in health care and lost productivity.
The benefits of quitting are real and immediate. Within 20 minutes after quitting, a smoker’s heart rate and blood pressure drops. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide levels in his or her blood decrease. And within two weeks after quitting, a smoker’s lung and circulation functions improve. Long term, an ex-smoker can expect to live longer and be less likely to develop cancer and heart disease.
Resources are available for those who are ready to quit. Smokers and their families can learn more about tobacco at tobaccofreeco.org. Those who are ready to quit can call the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. The QuitLine offers free, personalized, confidential telephone and web-based support for smokers and their families. For those who want help quitting via their phones, coquitmobile.org is a text message-based program that gives you instant support and coaching when you feel the urge to use tobacco. For help close to home, talk to your health care provider or contact Pueblo Tobacco Education Prevention Program of the Pueblo City-County Health Department at (719) 583-4334.
For those ready to quit during the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, here are some tips from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:
● Set your quit smoking date: Tell friends and family about your quit day so they can support you.
● Write down why you want to quit. You are more likely to quit if you write it down and picture yourself smoke-free.
● Make smoke-free home and car rules: make a pledge to keep your home, car and family smoke-free.
● Determine your triggers and then avoid them. When a craving strikes, substitute your usual triggers with healthier behaviors.
● Get professional help. Talk to your health care provider or the trained professional quit coaches at the Colorado QuitLine for more information about FDA-approved cessation medications.
The Pueblo City-County Health Department works to prevent and control tobacco use by serving as a resource for the Pueblo community. Contact Pueblo Tobacco Education and Prevention Program for more information (719) 583-4334.