By: McKenzie Perry and Jacinta Wenke
November 15th 2012 is the Great American Smokeout. In Iowa roughly 45,700 high school students smoke each year, the Great American Smokeout is a national day devoted to reducing that number. YLC members are going to be assisting with this initiative by doing cigarette butt cleanups in Van Buren County. YLC members McKenzie Perry, Jacinta Wenke, Olivia Denney, Isabel Neeley, Chase Murphy, and Brian Hervey will be visiting the park in Birmingham and picking up cigarette butts in and around the playground. “We are doing this to show the community the amount of smoking that happens in their park, the dangers of second hand smoke for children and ask them to make this area tobacco-free”.
Did you know- Secondhand smoke kills an estimated 25,000 people annually in the United States. Secondhand smoke also increases the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) in infants.
The Great American Smokeout (GASO), sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is an annual event taking place on the third Thursday of November that encourages smokers to use the date of the observance to make their plan to quit smoking for good or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.
During GASO, local, state and national organizations work to increase community awareness of the dangers of smoking as well as to emphasize the rights of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air in public places. GASO provides an opportunity for:
• Tobacco users to make a quit attempt, with permanent cessation adding years to their lives
• Friends, family, and health care professionals to encourage and support quit attempts
• Media organizations to run stories encouraging quitting
• Governmental and nongovernmental organizations to redouble their efforts to make our environment more conducive to quitting than continuing to use tobacco
Quitting smoking is the single best way smokers can protect their health, and quitting at any age has benefits. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease, disability and premature death in the United States, yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke. For information on quitting tobacco use check out the American Cancer Society’s Website at cancer.org/smokeout.
Use this day as your opportunity to quit tobacco use and support the YLC members in their efforts to make the parks in Van Buren County tobacco-free areas.
For more information about YLC activities or the Great American Smokeout you may contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org