By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
People throughout the country will refrain from smoking for at least the day Thursday. The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to make a plant to quit, either Thursday or soon.
The Clinton Breath Easy Coalition and Clinton Community College have paired together this week to bring this message to area smokers. Jen Gerdes, from the Breath Easy Coalition and Area Substance Abuse Council, is offering one-hour clinics about why and how to kick the habit.
“It’s basically just another time of year that we hope people take advantage of it (and quit),” Gerdes said.
Gerdes highlighted the dangers of smoking. Mark Mussmann of the Breath Easy Coalition pointed out that $193 billion is spent annually in the United States for health care costs and lost productivity due to tobacco use. He added that costs related to tobacco use account for 14 percent of Medicaid expenses.
Gerdes on Monday held the one-hour clinic in CCC. The program also is available to the public from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday in room 133. She expects a good turnout.
The coalition will offer a four-week cessation class, focused on understanding the addiction and breaking it. Gerdes said people involved typically need nicotine replacement therapy, such as a patch or gum. She added people can try to get eight weeks of NRT free by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
For more information on the Great American Smokeout and the four-week cessation class, call Gerdes at New Directions at 243-2124.