With the annual Great American Smokeout taking place November 18, Tobacco Free Florida in Jacksonville is using this observance to encourage people to make a plan to quit smoking using the free tools and services available to Floridians.
Tracing its history back more than 40 years, the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout marks a date when smokers are encouraged to use the date to either make a plan or to begin their quit journey.[i] This year, the American Cancer society is highlighting tobacco-related disparities during the Great American Smokeout.
While rates of cigarette smoking have declined, some groups smoke at higher rates and suffer disproportionately from smoking-relates illnesses. The health burden of tobacco use is especially high among racial and ethnic minorities, low-income individuals, the LGBT community and those with mental health conditions.[ii] Additionally, lower-income populations have less access to health care, making it more likely that they are diagnosed at later stages of diseases and conditions.[iii]
On November 22 from 2 to 4:30 p.m., join Tobacco-Free Jacksonville and the Cities of Atlantic and Neptune Beaches for a special event of celebrating businesses that have take that extra step to protect their patrons and customers. Volunteers will partake in a tobacco litter cleanup and Mayors Glasser and Brown will present certificates to those that have been identified as places of businesses with a tobacco/vaping policy or signage. All are welcome at this great GASO event.
Quitting smoking can add up to 10 years to life expectancy.[iv] The health benefits of quitting smoking include reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, improving lung function and lowering the chances of getting an array of different cancers.[v],[vi]
"Not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, since so many deaths each year are the result of smoking and secondhand smoke. On behalf of our sister cities - Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach - we support the 2021 Great American Smoke Out (GASO), and we are asking smokers in our community to quit for just one day. Doing this can be the first, best step toward quitting smoking altogether and living healthier, longer lives. The GASO has special meaning for me, since I lost my mother to smoking-related lung cancer and have been telling her story since 2006, when I rode my bike across the United States to educate others on the risks of smoking. Her story of being so incredibly strong, but not being able to quit smoking, says everything about just how addictive nicotine is. For me, this is reminder to support our friends and loved ones in their effort to quit!" said Atlantic Beach Mayor Ellen Glasser.
Information on the history of the Great American Smokeout, national activities to support quitting and other materials can be found at https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html. Tobacco Free Florida’s quit tips, tools and more are available by visiting www.TobaccoFreeFlorida.com or by calling 1-877-U-CAN-NOW.
[i] "History of the Great American Smokeout." American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout/history-of-the-great-american-smokeout.html. [accessed 10 August 2020.]
[ii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Best Practices User Guide: Health Equity in Tobacco Prevention and Control. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2015.[Accessed 2021 September 21]
[iii] Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Tobacco and Socioeconomic Status [PDF–56.2 KB]pdf iconexternal icon. Washington, D.C.: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2015 [Accessed 2021 September 21]
[iv] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. [accessed 10 August 2020.]
[v] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). (2014). Let's Make the Next Generation Tobacco-Free: Your Guide to the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health (Consumer Booklet). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health. [accessed 10 August 2020.]
[vi] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A Report of the Surgeon General. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What It Means to You. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010 [accessed 2020 August 10].