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Health Department Notes

Great American Smokeout Quitting smoking isn’t easy. It takes time. And a plan. You don’t have to stop smoking in one day. Start with day one. Let the Great American Smokeout event on Nov. 15 be your day to start your journey toward a smoke-free life. You’ll be joining thousands of smokers across the country in taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing your cancer risk.

Nearly 38 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths every year, or about one in five deaths. And more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. While the cigarette smoking rate has dropped significantly, from 42 percent in 1965 to less than 15.5 percent in 2016, the gains have been inconsistent. Some groups of Americans suffer disproportionately from smoking-related cancer and other diseases, including those who have less education, who live below the poverty level, or who suffer from serious psychological distress, as well as certain racial and ethnic groups, and lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

Quitting smoking improves health immediately, and over the long-term, at any age. To stop smoking is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Getting help through counseling and medications doubles or even triples your chances of quitting successfully.

Remember, tobacco addiction is both mental and physical. For most people, the best way to quit will be some combination of medicine, a method to change personal habits and emotional support.

Kentucky’s Tobacco Quit Line, 1-800-QUIT NOW, is a free telephone service that helps Kentuckians quit smoking and using tobacco products. Callers, both smokers and nonsmokers, will receive support and advice from an experienced quit specialist, a personalized quit program with self-help materials and the latest information about the medications that can help you quit. Tobacco cessation counselors are available from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Sunday at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669), which is available in English and Spanish. Translation service for other languages is also available, free of charge. For the deaf and hard of hearing community, TTY: 888-229-2182. The health department also offers a smoking cessation program. For more information, please call the Woodford County Health Department at 873-4541.

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