Great American Smokeout offers chance to make a change for a healthier life

Photo of someone saying "No" to a pack of cigarettes.
The 2019 Great American Smokeout event is Nov. 21.

Breathe easy and stomp out smoking during the national Great American Smokeout on Nov. 21, because if you are a smoker, the statistics are scary.

Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in both men and women, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) says tobacco smoking is the leading cause of it. NCI research shows smoking is responsible for about nine out of 10 cases of lung cancer in men and about eight out of ten cases in women.

Statistics from the American Cancer Society and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show more than 480,000 Americans die each year from using tobacco products. Smoking accounts for nearly 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths which claims the lives of more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, HIV, guns and illegal drugs combined.

In addition, secondhand smoke exposure accounts for 41,000 deaths among adults in the U.S. each year, including more than 7,300 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers. Two out of five children, ages 3 to 11, regularly breathe secondhand smoke in our country, leading to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, lung problems, asthma and ear infections, according to the CDC.

Smokers don’t have to settle for those statistics, however. If you need a helping hand to stop smoking, the Augusta University Health community is ready to assist you. Dr. Martha Tingen, associate director for Cancer Prevention, Control and Population Health at the Georgia Cancer Center, and her team will partner with clinicians and students at Augusta UniversityAU HealthThe Dental College of Georgia, the Georgia Cancer Center and the Georgia Prevention Institute to host the 2019 Great American Smokeout.

The event, created by the American Cancer Society, runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 21. Get information on strategies proven to help people quit, along with tips you can share with family, friends, and coworkers about electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products. In addition, information about the Georgia Cancer Center’s free lung screening for long-term smokers will be available. You can also sign up for the Tobacco Cessation Program.

You can stop by one of 10 “Commit to Quit” stations across both the Health Sciences Campus and the Summerville Campus to take the pledge to put down cigarettes, cigars or e-cigarette and become a non-smoker or pledge to be a “Quit Buddy” and help someone you care about to quit tobacco. Here are the locations for the “Commit to Quit” stations:

  • Children’s Hospital of Georgia
  • Medical Office Building
  • Georgia Cancer Center Outpatient Services Clinic
  • Augusta University Medical Center, “A” Entrance
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation, 937 15th St.
  • Heart and Cardiovascular Center, 1003 Chafee Ave.
  • The Dental College of Georgia
  • Student Health
  • Jaguar Student Activities Center

Learn more about Augusta’s Great American Smokeout.

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Written by
Chris Curry

Chris Curry is the Communications Coordinator for the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-799-8841 or

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Written by Chris Curry

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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