INDIANAPOLIS—Each year, more than 11,000 people in Indiana die from tobacco use, a leading cause of preventable disease in Indiana.
In an effort to reduce the number of Hoosiers who smoke, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is asking individuals to commit to being tobacco-free by taking part in the Great American Smokeout (GASO) on Thursday, Nov. 21.
GASO is a day designated by the American Cancer Society (ACS) that encourages smokers to make a pledge to quit using tobacco products for just one day. The campaign emphasizes that tobacco users don’t have to quit in one day but simply have to start with “day one” of their quit journey, said a news release from the ISDH.
“The most important thing smokers can do to improve their health is to quit using cigarettes and other forms of combustible tobacco,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “We are showing our support for people who take those first steps toward making a plan to quit.”
Smoking is a leading contributor to heart disease, diabetes, asthma and cancer, accounting for 30 percent of all cancer deaths, according to the ACS’s Cancer Facts and Figures 2019 report.
“During this year’s Great American Smokeout event, we hope everyone will join us — and encourage their friends, family and colleagues to join us — in committing or recommitting to year-round, smoke-free lives,” said Dr. Box. “We know quitting is difficult, but no Hoosier has to go it alone.”
Free help is available through the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, a cessation counseling service for Indiana residents age 13 and older. The Quitline offers help via phone, Web and text and includes additional support for pregnant women. Visit www.QuitNowIndiana.com or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for assistance.
Hoosiers interested in stopping vaping can also call the Quitline for help, and youth looking to quit vaping can text “DitchJUUL” to 887-09 to access the national text messaging program.