What is the Great American Smokeout?
The Great American Smokeout (GASO) is a day every year sponsored by the American Cancer Society. GASO is one day when every American is called to quit smoking -- even if it is just for one day. GASO provides a day in which individuals, community groups, and health care providers urge people who smoke to develop a quit plan, commit to a day to quit smoking, and allows them to learn about tools that are readily available to them to aid in their quit journey.
Why is GASO important?
Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the world -- 34 million Americans smoke cigarettes daily! No matter how long you’ve smoked, quitting improves your health immediately, and your chance of cancer instantly starts to decrease. Quitting can be extremely hard to do. The point of GASO is to make tools readily available to those who are thinking about quitting -- it is not to force you to quit cold turkey. We also don’t expect you to stop smoking completely after GASO -- you don’t have to quit in one day, just start with day one.
What resources are available to me?
You can visit quitnowindiana.com or call 1-800-784-8669 (QUITNOW). This link and phone number will lead you to Indiana’s Tobacco Quitline, where you can speak to a live person for support, text with someone, or just get basic resources through the website. A person can set you up with cessation medication for free if you qualify, can send you daily encouragement texts, and can help you reach your tobacco-free goals. Quit plans are tailored to your specific needs, age, gender, and other factors. They are a great free resource for those who are trying to quit smoking cigarettes, vaping, or smokeless tobacco. You can sign up online or by calling the number listed above.
You can also seek judgement free services from your doctor or dentist. If they see fit, they can prescribe you cessation medication. Through Medicaid, these medications are often free to you. See your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider for more information.
What are things that I can do to be successful at quitting?
We recommend that you visit quitnowindiana.com. They are extremely helpful and have an abundance of resources.
We also recommend that you develop a Quit Plan. This means you:
You don’t have to quit in one day. Just start with day one. You got this!
"We don't smoke that s***. We just sell it. We let the poor, the black, and the stupid smoke it for us."
This was a quote by a tobacco company executive when a reporter asked why he didn't smoke the products that they sell.
Have you ever been in a community that was comprised of lower income families and paid attention to the amount of tobacco retailers in the area? You might be surprise to know that tobacco companies target low-income neighborhoods intentionally. It is common to see more density of tobacco retailers in these areas, in addition to a higher distribution of discount codes, direct-mail coupons, development of brands that appeal to these individuals specifically, and point-of-sale discounts, which are "deals" that you see where the products are purchases. It is for these reasons that 74% of all smokers come from low-income communities.
The tobacco industry also markets to minority populations by creating ads that specifically target those individuals, and we see this in the consistency of purchases throughout these populations. African Americans are 11 times more likely to start smoking than white Americans, Native American smoking rates are 7% higher than white Americans, and lung cancer rates are 18% higher among Asian Americans compared to white Americans.
Tobacco companies view individuals of low socio-economic status and of minority populations as the perfect target market for their product. Why? They see any human struggle as an opportunity to capitalize on addiction; and because these individuals commonly struggle financially, Big Tobacco markets directly to them for their own financial gain.
So what can we do?
1. Write to and/or call your state legislatures about the importance of raising the cigarette tax (Indiana's tax rate is significantly below the national average).
2. Get involved with your local tobacco prevention coalition by contacting your Tobacco Prevention Coordinator.
3. If you are a tobacco user, call 1-800-QUITNOW or visit the Indiana Tobacco Quitline to end your support of these establishments and experience freedom from addiction.
There are a lot of theories related to smoking and your mental health, and it has created a stigma for those who want to quit smoking, but are worried about how it will affect, and maybe even worsen, their depression, anxiety, and/or other mental health disorders. Below, we have debunked some myths about quitting smoking for anyone who is experiencing a mental illness.
For FREE resources on how to construct a quit plan, gain access to medical assisted treatment, or any type of clinical support, visit quitnowindiana.com or call 1-800-QUITNOW.
We all know that the fan favorite of activities to do on the fourth of July is to light fireworks, but what are we supposed to do with our families during the day? Here are 5 simple and fun things for you and your family to all enjoy together on the fourth:
1. Go for a walk or bike ride: summer only comes once a year for us in Indiana, so take advantage of the nice weather while we have it; and don't forget to drink lots of water!
2. Bake a fun, patriotic desert with your friends or family: from firecracker cake and flag fruit pizza, to stars & stripes trial mix and red, white, & blueberry bites, the opportunities are endless!
3. Put on your swim suit and play in some water: the hot summer weather calls for some swimming in the pool and running through the sprinkler!
4. Grab your grill and throw on some grub: nothing tastes as good as a burger or hot dog straight off the grill, but there are also some great veggie grilling options if meat is not your thing!
5. Make some popsicles with your kiddos: not only are popsicles a refreshing treat in the heat, but they are so simple and fun to make!
From our families to yours, have a safe and fun holiday weekend!
- The Jay County Drug Prevention Coalition
Overall, lesbian, gay and bisexual adults* smoked cigarettes at rates significantly higher than straight adults and were nearly twice as likely to use e-cigarettes and cigars — trends due in part to targeted marketing by Big Tobacco. Transgender youth currently used tobacco products at higher rates than cisgender youth, including 4X higher cigarette use and 3X higher e-cigarette use. For years the tobacco industry has made efforts to appeal to LGBT consumers through things like targeted advertisements in LGBT press, cigarette giveaways, and free tobacco industry merchandise. Today, the LGBT community is among the hardest hit by tobacco.
The tobacco industry has targeted the LGBT community for decades. Federal, state and local levels can take important steps to help reduce tobacco use overall, including among the LGBT community. Steps include:
May 31st is both Memorial Day and the 33rd annual World No Tobacco Day, and these two days of observation might have more in common than you would expect. The U.S. military has a culture of tobacco use, which decades of tobacco industry targeting has helped create and support. Not only has this culture driven smoking rates to be significantly higher among service members than the rest of the population, it also impairs their military readiness and levels of performance.
Prevalence and Trends
Members of the military face unique challenges in their battle against tobacco use, including prolonged deployments, cultural pressures and access to cheap tobacco products. Reducing tobacco use in the military is a critical step in protecting the health of the men and women who protect us. If you are a current service member or a veteran, you can access free help and resources at quitnowindiana.com or by calling
1-800-QUITNOW. For more information about tobacco use in the military, click here.
National Take Down Tobacco Day started in 1996 as a day of anti-smoking activism. Formally known as "Kick Butts Day", Take Down Tobacco Day has seen participation from teachers, kids, youth leaders, health advocates, and parents over the years to raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use in their communities. This national holiday began as a way to get anti-tobacco legislation passed, and has continuously encouraged kids to choose a tobacco-free lifestyle along the way! If you want to participate, here are a few ways to get involved today:
1. Gather with friends and family and pick up cigarette butts in your community; this isn't just a way to clean up the burden of tobacco, but also to raise awareness of the impact these products have on our planet!
2. Take a pledge with your kids and neighbors to be tobacco-free and post about it on social media; there is no excuse not to participate and get others involved!
3. Talk to your child about the dangers of smoking; tell your children about the harmful affects of smoking, and the benefits of living a tobacco-free life!
And if you are a current tobacco user that would like to kick your "butts" to the curb, call 1-800-QUITNOW or click here for free resources to help you on your journey to choosing a tobacco free lifestyle!
Did you know that today is Random Acts of Kindness Day? We at the Jay County Drug Prevention Coalition wanted to share some ideas to spread some kindness within our community today!
1. Bring a coffee to someone that you work with.
2. Drop some flowers off to a business that you frequently shop for.
3. If you are in a long line at a store, invite the person behind you to go first.
4. Hold the door open for someone coming in behind you.
5. Leave an encouraging note for your spouse, child, or neighbor.
6. Put a sticky note on the gas pump, entrance door, or bathroom mirror at a gas station.
7. Send a thank you note to essential workers in the mail (i.e. nurses, police officers, postal workers, fire fighters, ect.)
8. Randomly hand $20 to the first person that you see in the grocery store.
9. Bake some cookies and drop some off to a family member.
10. Send a photo or a memory to a friend in the mail.
11. Pay for someone's order in the line of a drive thru.
12. Send a funny, uplifting e-card to someone in your email list.
13. Bring your neighbors trash cans back up to their house/garage after trash day.
14. Send an encouraging text message to someone that you thought about today.
15. Ask if someone needs help shoveling out their driveway.
16. Donate to an organization or charity that you are passionate about.
17. Encourage someone that has made the brave choice to quit an addiction!
18. Send a friend a funny video that you saw on YouTube, Facebook, or Tiktok.
19. Buy a new book to read to your kids at bedtime.
20. Refrain from negative self talk - you deserve kindness too!
At the JCDPC, we are hoping that you all both give and receive random acts of kindness today from family members, co-workers, and even people that you don't yet know. There are plenty of ways to spread kindness in a socially distanced way on a daily basis, and we hope that today is your reminder about how simple it is to do just that. Choose kindness today!
If you think that addiction is affecting our community, you need to be part of this conversation. So much of our efforts to prevent drug use have been through school assemblies and drug free posters, and we as a coalition wanted to take a more hands on approach to tackle the temptations that our youth face daily, through manipulation that we have even experienced ourselves in our community.
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month! And I couldn't let this month pass by without talking about such an important topic, especially because it can be directly connected to tobacco use.
Smoking cannot only cause cancer, but it can also prevent your body from fighting it. The ingredients that are in tobacco products can weaken the body's immune system and make it more difficult to kill cancer cells. The ingredients can also damage or change the cell's DNA, which controls the cell's ability to grow and function normally. When DNA is damaged through tobacco use, a cell can begin growing out of control and create a cancerous tumor. Smoking can cause cancer in the: blood, bladder, cervix, colon, esophagus, kidney, liver, lungs, stomach, and prostate, among other areas of the body. And studies show that people who smoke may be more likely to die from these diseases than non-smokers.
But if you are a current smoker, don't be discouraged! Quitting as soon possible still lowers your chances of getting cancer, and studies show that within 5 years of quitting, your chances of getting cancer lowers by 50%. And if everyone stopped smoking, one of every three deaths from cancer in the United States would not happen. Isn't that amazing?
To learn more about how smoking affects your health, click here. And if you want to learn about free resources to help you quit smoking, call 1-800-QUITNOW or click here.
Multiple Authors including coalition staff, board members, and coalition members contribute to this page.