Join in Great American Smokeout on Thursday

Join Healthy Sheboygan County 2020 in partnership with re:TH!NK, the Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network, this year for the Great American Smokeout on Thursday.

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout event. Encourage someone you know to use the date to plan to quit.

“The most important thing smokers can do to improve their health is to quit cigarettes and other forms of combustible tobacco,” said Diane Liebenthal, interim health officer at Sheboygan County’s Health and Human Services, Public Health. “We are showing our support for people who take those first steps towards making a plan to quit.”

Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die (prematurely) because of the habit. Each year more than 480,000 people in the United States die from illnesses related to tobacco use. This means smoking causes about 1 out of 5 deaths in the U.S. annually.

This month a new media campaign called “Tobacco is Changing” began and will encourage Wisconsin parents, as well as all in our community, to learn about different tobacco products and why they appeal to youth. By increasing awareness of how these candy and fruit-flavored tobacco products appeal to youth, parents may gain tips for talking to their kids about the dangers of using tobacco products and stopping the cycle of nicotine addiction in the future. Tobacco use has changed over the years and (Sheboygan County has) made progress in our community. Yet, because tobacco is one of the strongest addictions one can have, about 40 million American adults still smoke. Doctors and public health officials used to encourage smokers to quit cold turkey on a single day. Today, evidence shows that quitting is a process. It starts with a plan, often takes time and requires a lot of support.

The Wisconsin Quit Line provides support as people make their plan to quit. It is free and available 24 hours a day. During this year’s Great American Smokeout, please help us promote the Quit Line 1-800-QUIT-NOW and/or

We hope everyone will join us (Healthy Sheboygan County 2020, re:TH!NK, the Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network, and the American Cancer Society) and encourage their friends, family and colleagues to join us, in committing or recommitting to a yearround, tobacco-free life.

For more information on the national Great American Smokeout Day event, go to Healthy Sheboygan County 2020 website http://www.healthysheboygancounty. org or call (920) 459-3031. For more information about smoking and why you should quit, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, email them off their website, or call (800) 784-8669.

Liz Abler, RN, is a public health nurse for Sheboygan County Health and Human Services Division of Public Health and a member of the Healthy Sheboygan County 2020 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee.