November 15, 2005 |

Great American Smokeout has helped millions of people kick the smoking habit with annual event

On Thursday, Nov. 17, millions of smokers will take part in the American Cancer Society's 29th annual Great American Smokeout®.
For nearly three decades, the society has designated the third Thursday of each November as a day for smokers nationwide to unite and kick the deadly habit of smoking. To mark this occasion, the American Cancer Society is urging Pennsylvania to pass a comprehensive clean indoor air law and by providing smokers with the resources and help they need to quit smoking now by calling the Pennsylvania Free Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Earlier this year, Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Bucks, Montgomery County) introduced the most comprehensive piece of clean indoor air legislation to date in Pennsylvania. The bill would require all public indoor workplaces to be smoke-free, including bars and restaurants, and would protect both workers and patrons from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Currently, bartenders working an eight-hour shift in a smoky bar get the same exposure to smoke as if they had smoked half a pack of cigarettes.
In addition to the positive health benefits, numerous economic studies have shown that similar laws passed in other state have not had a negative impact on the hospitality industry or any other sector. One example from a Harvard School of Public Health report found that the Massachusetts Smoke-Free Workplace Law that made all workplaces, including restaurants and bars, 100% smoke-free, has not adversely affected statewide meals and alcoholic beverage excise tax collection.
If all U.S. workplaces became smoke-free, per capita consumption of cigarettes would decrease by an additional 4.5 percent per year. But the American Cancer Society recognizes that smokers need help kicking the habit for good. Pennsylvania residents can access the Free Quitline-24 hours a day, 7 days a week- by calling 1.800.QUIT.NOW. The Free Quitline is based on state-of-the art techniques for self-help in smoking cessation and helps almost 1,000 people per month with their quit attempt. Rather than trying to quit on their own, smokers who make quit attempts with the help of services like the Free Quitline are approximately twice as likely to be successful.
For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

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