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Posted on: November 18, 2022

Quitters are the New Winners!

MCHD press release

Quitters are the New Winners!

Join The 45th Annual Great American Smokeout® November 17, 2022

Bloomington, IL— Every third Thursday in November, the Great American Smokeout® challenges millions of people nationwide to quit smoking for one day. Created by the American Cancer Society in 1977, the annual event shines a spotlight on the many resources available to help people kick the habit permanently.

More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Yet, smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world and causes over 8 million deaths per year worldwide. 

Jessica McKnight, Administrator of McLean County Health Department (MCHD), is a former smoker who has facilitated smoking cessation programs. “Quitting is hard for many people who smoke.  It’s a process. It takes commitment, often multiple quit attempts, and requires a lot of support. For me it was one of the hardest things that I have ever done, but I am thankful every day that I took that step for my health and have stayed quit for over ten years.”

Nicotine is as addictive as heroin and cocaine. The average American who smokes will attempt to quit 5 to 7 times before they finally succeed. But with that success comes improved health outcomes, a reduced risk of serious diseases, and the financial reward of saving money. 

According to the McLean County 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment, 17.2 percent of McLean County adults currently smoke cigarettes. The county’s Healthy People 2030 target is 5 percent. Disparities in commercial tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure, related health problems, and access to treatment can exist based on where people live, their type and amount of employment and health insurance, and other social and demographic factors such as race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability status, level of education, income, and/or behavioral health status.

The Tobacco Prevention Program at MCHD focuses on youth education to prevent the initiation of tobacco use among young people and Smoke-Free Illinois Act enforcement practices to protect residents, workers and visitors from the harmful and hazardous effects of secondhand smoke.  

The Great American Smokeout® is a great time to learn more about available tools and take that first step toward a smoke-free future. There are many resources available to those who need support to quit. There are many ways to quit smoking, and some work better than others. For more information visit: 

CDC Resources: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/features/great-american-smokeout/index.html

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