Great American Smokeout promotes smoke-free life

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS)– The American Cancer Society created a national event called the Great American Smokeout. Drug Free Coordinator at Community Connections, Candace Harless, said this event is held every year on the third Thursday in November to help people start a smoke-free life.

“It’s just important to show that in 24 hours your body can change from smoking, so just think about what it would do for a month or a year,” Harless said. “And then also the money you would save that goes along with smoking.”

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Smoking does not just include cigarettes, it also includes vaping and chewing tobacco. Harless said during the COVID-19 pandemic, people should be extra careful when it comes to smoking.

“Right now, there are a lot of things to think about with tobacco and nicotine, and to know the health risks because vaping is a new trend and then we have COVID as well,” Harless said. “With COVID, they’re telling you that there is a lot of extra health risks for serious conditions and even premature death just from smoking tobacco.”

Harless said the biggest trend they see is vaping among the younger generation. S.A.D.D. Coordinator, Trevor Darago, said they are working hard to get teens to stop vaping and be leaders in their communities.

“If we have a good group of students across the state who are like ‘I’m confident in who I am’ and ‘I’m going to say that’s not for me,’ I think that they can cause other students who may be the followers to make those same decisions, but it may also inspire them to become a leader as well,” Darago said.

For more information about The Great American Smoke Out, visit the American Cancer Society.

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