American Cancer Society hosts event to encourage smokers to quit


PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia ranks second among all states in percentage of population that smokes regularly. Experts said many smokers become addicted as early as middle school, and the most effective way to stop smoking rates from rising, is to not let smokers develop the habit at a young age.

“These kids are out there doing a whole lot of things. We know,” said Gregg Puckett, Executive Director of Community Connections in Princeton. “We talk to them on a regular basis and we work with them. And we don’t treat them like kids, you know? We try to educate them along the lines of ‘hey, let me explain to you what this is going to do to you long term.”

The long term effects show that the majority of kids who start smoking in middle or high school become lifelong smokers.

One of the primary reasons for the rise in tobacco use among middle schoolers is the availability of vapes and flavored tobacco. Vaping has been marketed as a “harmless” alternative to cigarette smoking, but Puckett and other healthcare professionals claim there is simply not enough long term data to show the dangers of vaping, because it is a relatively new trend.

However, it’s not just young people that the American Cancer Society hopes will stop smoking.

If you are ready to take the first step toward quitting smoking, dial 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and you can get matched up with a quit coach to help you on your quitting journey, along with 8 free weeks of lozenges, patches or gum to help you quit.

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