Take the pledge to toss tobacco during the Great American Smokeout

Lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer for both men and women, but the first step to lowering your risk could be as simple as throwing that pack of cigarettes in the trash. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Lung Association (ALA), smoking and conditions related to tobacco use are to blame for around 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths.

Despite declining numbers of tobacco users across the United States, the number of electronic cigarette users, particularly among youth, has increased since 2011 according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a recent study by the National Cancer Institute, researchers found adolescents who regularly used pod-style e-cigarettes, such as the brand Juul, had higher levels of nicotine in their bodies than have previously been found in adolescents who regularly smoked conventional cigarettes.

Nicotine, an addictive substance, is toxic for developing brains. Smoking causes adverse effects on the entire body including inflammation and decreased immune system functioning, regardless of age. Additionally, smoking is related to 14 non-lung forms of cancer.

For these reasons, Augusta University has committed to help the community reduce the number of tobacco and e-cigarette users during the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout — a national event held each November that aims to assist smokers in overcoming their addiction.

On Nov. 15, the Georgia Cancer CenterGeorgia Prevention Institute and The Dental College of Georgia will set up eight “Commit to Quit” stations to discuss:

  • The buzz behind e-cigarettes and tobacco-use
  • Proven strategies and helpful tips to quit smoking
  • Cessation resources and how to access them
  • Free lung cancer screening
  • Impact of secondhand smoke and ways to avoid it

The following stations will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Health Sciences and Summerville campuses:

  • Children’s Hospital of Georgia(Lobby)
  • Medical Office Building(Lobby)
  • Dental College of Georgia(Lobby)
  • Heart and Cardiovascular Center(Lobby)
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation(Lobby)
  • Jaguar Student Activities Center (Foyer)
  • Georgia Cancer Center Outpatient Clinic
  • Georgia Radiation Therapy Center

To protect people from the dangers of second-hand from combustible tobacco products and the second-hand aerosol from electronic-cigarettes, Augusta Commissioners passed a county-wide smoke-free ordinance in June. It will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019. The ordinance covers all combustible tobacco products and electronic-cigarettes and aims to promote healthier work environments and public places in our community.

The purpose of the ordinance is two-fold:

  1. To protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking and electronic-cigarettes in enclosed public and enclosed places of employment.
  2. To support the right of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air and to recognize that the need to breathe smoke-free air shall have priority over the desire to smoke in enclosed public places.
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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 chrcurry@augusta.edu.

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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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