35th annual Great American Smoke-Out - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

35th annual Great American Smoke-Out

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WATERLOO (KWWL)-- Its an estimated 46 million American adults smoke. 35 years ago The American Cancer Society encouraged smokers to quit for one day just to say they could do it. Now, they are encouraging people to quit for good.

Nation wide one in five tobacco users die of lung cancer.

"People can really benefit themselves by just stopping something that's so harmful and they can prevent cancer so easily by doing something such as quitting," said Kelly Warren, American Cancer Society.

Iowa has improved, banning smoking in public areas such as bars and restaurants. Warren suggests smokers try to even go beyond that.

"The smoking ban in restaurants and public areas is great, but it doesn't help individuals who still have to face 2nd hand smoke at home or in their cars so we challenge people to also make those smoke fee zones as well," said Warren.

The American Cancer Society says its not just lung cancer that is the problem anymore. More and more people are switching from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco causing mouth and throat cancer. When The American Cancer Society started The Great American Smoke Out 35 years ago smoking was the norm. According to Warren today's society is much more educated.

"Research has shown that people who quit can easily add ten years to their lives and we are happy because that's 10 more birthdays they can celebrate with loved ones."

The American Cancer Society in Cedar Rapids is teaming up with St. Luke's Hospital, Area Substance Abuse Council, and Breathe Easy Coalition sponsoring a community health fair as part of the Great American Smoke-out.

The health fair starts at 11:00 and is free to the public.  It will be at St. Luke's Hospital, Nassif Heart Center, 3rd floor classroom.

Also residents of Linn County can receive 2 weeks of free Nicotine Replacement Therapy when they call Quitline and let them know they are a Linn County resident.

American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org

Online Reporter: Nikki Newbrough

 

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