July 22, 2014

The air may be a little clearer on Thursday with annual “Smokeout” event

Some Nebraskans will be able to trade a pack of cigarettes for a cold turkey sandwich as part of this week’s 38th annual Great American Smokeout, which is set for Thursday.

Chuck Reed, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society, says the event is designed for smokers who want to live a healthier life.

“It’s a terrific day to not only not smoke for one day but also to develop a plan where you can quit for good,” Reed says. Lung cancer accounts for 14% of all cancer cases in Nebraska and 25% of all cancer deaths.

Through events like Thursday’s Smokeout, Reed says smokers can envision their life without tobacco.

“If you can quit for a day, that shows you that you can do it and then if you can make that plan and get the support you need and the help, hopefully you can be smoke-free for the rest of your life,” Reed says.

Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U-S, yet nearly one in every five Nebraskans smoke.

Various American Cancer Society offices across Nebraska will hold special events on Thursday, like the turkey sandwich giveaways. There’s also a free mobile phone game app where you use a water gun to blast cigarette-smoking zombies.

Learn about the steps to take to quit smoking, with resources and support, at 800-227-2345 or the website: www.cancer.org.