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Health Minute: The Great American Smokeout

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Great American Smokeout is Today. Here's How to Get Help in Maine

Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for about 30% of all cancer deaths. Smoking kills 443,000 Americans and 6,500 Louisianians each year.

Public health advocates working together as the Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition promoted the day throughout the state, stressing the harms of both tobacco use and vaping.

Smoking rates in the US have declined from 42% in 1965 to 13.7% in 2018, but the gains are inconsistent, and some groups continue to smoke and smoke more heavily than others. COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs.

People used to smoke on airplanes, indoors everywhere, even in elevators.

Yet, because tobacco is one of the strongest addictions one can have, about 40 million American adults still smoke. If cold turkey quitting is too much, consider the availability of counseling, nicotine replacement products, group support, telephone hotline support, guidebooks and encouragement, including nagging, from friends and family.

Do you need help quitting?

"There is no better time than the present to stop using tobacco", says Dr. Larry Simon, medical director at Blue Cross. "With COVID-19 cases rising, I really encourage people to stop smoking or vaping as soon as possible". In addition to protecting people from the health hazards of secondhand smoke, research shows smoke-free laws also help motivate and help tobacco users quit and prevent youth from using tobacco.

As part of its mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians, Blue Cross offers its members nurse health coaching and support through its Care Management programs. The American Cancer Society can help people find quit-smoking programs and resources that can increase anyone's chances of quitting successfully.

If the health statistics aren't enough, calculate the cost of your particular form of tobacco in your weekly, monthly and annual budget. The program combines the popular quit-smoking planning tools and online community from BecomeAnEX.org, a proven-effective consumer smoking cessation program, with personalized, digital coaching and medication support from tobacco treatment specialists.

Developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, the EX Program is an enterprise-level, digital tobacco cessation program designed for employers and health plans. The Well-Ahead website includes a wealth of information about smoking cessation. Of the 49 million Americans who use tobacco, almost 70 percent of smokers and 60 percent of e-cigarette users want to stop.

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