Great American Smokeout

This Thursday, November 17th, marks the Great American Smokeout (GASO), an awareness day with over 30 years of history. This year, the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MTUPP), a statewide program of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, is joining forces with the American Cancer Society to challenge and encourage smokers to go 24 hours without a cigarette and raise awareness about the deaths and chronic diseases caused by smoking. Here in Montana one thousand four hundred (1,400) individuals die every year from tobacco-related illnesses. Tobacco Use Prevention Specialist Teddy Nault said, “We’re challenging smokers to stop tobacco use for the day and will provide information on effective ways to quit permanently, including information on the Montana Tobacco Quit Line.”

On this day, tobacco users can be reminded of the reasons to quit and the many resources available to help. The Montana Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW offers free help to Montanans who want to stop using tobacco. Free nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches, lozenges and gum, and free or low-cost medications are available through this service. Tobacco users who call the Montana Tobacco Quit Line are 7 to 10 times more likely to quit.

The City-County Health Department is once again partnering with Great Falls Public Schools to conduct a GASO poster contest. Local students attending grades 4-5 have been invited to lend their artistic talents, and the winning posters will be displayed on the Market Place billboard courtesy of Benefis Health System.

Additionally, the CMR reACT group will host the Great American Smokeout (GASO) on Thursday, November 17 at 10:50-12:30 at the CMR High School commons area. The event will feature the members of reACT educating their peers and school faculty members about the benefits of quitting, the MT Clean Indoor Air Act, the MT Quit Line and other tobacco related topics. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about GASO or any other toabcco use topics, please contact Teddy Nault at 452-0881 x307 or visit CCHD’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program online.