It’s a great time to quit
To the Editor;
For more than 40 years, the American Cancer Society has hosted the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November. The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity for people who smoke to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives, not just for a day, but year-round. The Great American Smokeout provides an opportunity for individuals, community groups, businesses, health care providers, and others to encourage people to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and initiate a smoking cessation plan on the day of the event. The Great American Smokeout event challenges people to stop smoking and helps people learn about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay quit.
The 2020 Smokeout on Nov. 19 provides an opportunity for Maine tobacco users to begin their smoke-free journey along with thousands of others from across the country. Quitting smoking is the single most important thing a smoker can do to live a longer and healthier life. In Maine, nearly one in five adults smokes and tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death.
The Maine QuitLink is an online resource to support Maine residents to be tobacco-free and to connect to tobacco treatment. The staff through the Maine QuitLink offer assistance in developing a plan for quitting and are committed to making a difference through support that can help you stay tobacco-free for life. You can reach the Maine Quitlink by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The US Centers for Disease Control has provided the following guidance: Being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you currently smoke, quit. If you used to smoke, don’t start again. If you’ve never smoked, don’t start.
So wear your mask, watch your distance, wash your hands, and quit smoking. Every day and any day is a good time to quit.
Kenneth I. Lewis
MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence