Today is the American Cancer Society’s 40th annual Great American Smokeout®, an event to encourage Americans to take a step towards a healthy life, encourage smokers to give up smoking and to think twice before initiating tobacco or e-cigarette use. The Great American Smokeout® has dramatically changed attitudes about smoking, helping bring about community programs and smoke-free laws that are now saving lives across our community and the nation.
Thanks to increased awareness, research, and other community-led efforts, smoking rates have dropped dramatically in the past several decades. However, the tobacco industry continues to aggressively market new and innovative products towards youth, encouraging non-smokers to begin smoking. The Evanston Substance Abuse Prevention (ESAP) Coalition is spreading awareness about the Great American Smokeout® to educate youth about the risks of tobacco products, emphasize the need to quit, press for local policies that control tobacco use, discourage youth from initiating tobacco use and support people who want to quit.
Throughout the week, members from the ESAP Coalition and its tobacco committee, including representatives from the American Cancer Society, Evanston Township High School, PEER Services, NorthShore University HealthSystem and the City of Evanston’s Department of Health and Human Services, are implementing Great American Smokeout® activities in Evanston. Initiatives include outreach at ETHS, where students learn about the risks of tobacco use, an informational board for students and parents at the ETHS Health Center, a physician-led presentation for adults who are looking to quit smoking, and a smoke-out barbeque at Northwestern University.
To learn more about the Great American Smokeout® or other tobacco initiatives in the community, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are looking for resources to quit smoking, please call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline at 1-866-QUIT-YES.