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Students from Blackfoot's Independence Alternative High School's health council will be passing out smoking cessation kits from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for today's Great American Smokeout. The American Cancer Society is marking the 37th annual November 15th smokeout by encouraging smokers to make a plan to quit, or to at least quit smoking for the day.
"Even by quitting for one day, smokers will be taking a step towards a healthier life that can help reduce cancer risks," said Traci Lambson, tobacco prevention and cessation coordinator for Southeast Idaho Public Health.
Lambson said cessation kits are free (while supplies last) to students, staff or anyone in the community who is ready to make a serious effort to quit smoking. The kits include information on how to successfully quit smoking, cards (for those 18 or older) to get nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges, and items such as Play-Dough, rubber bands, candy, doodle pads and water bottles, to help smokers keep their minds off smoking.
Smoking tobacco continues to be largest, preventable cause of disease and premature death in the country; yet approximately 44 million Americans still smoke cigarettes; 13.2 million smoke cigars and 2.2 million smoke tobacco in pipes.
"Hopefully, getting these kits into the hands of those who want to quit will help them go all the way to quitting for good," Lambson said.
The Southeast Idaho Public Health Department also offers free 'smoking cessation' classes at various times throughout the year. For more information on local smoking cessation classes go to www.siphidaho.org. or call 208-478-6316.
Independence Alternative High School is at 155 E. Francis St. in Blackfoot.