Great American Smokeout not felt locally

Junior Dani Jones has been smoking for three years. She’s tried quitting, but said it’s just not feasible.

“I want to quit smoking, especially now that it’s getting cold out,” she said.

She said her success depends on those around her.

“It is hard because my boyfriend will have three in a row, and I am always around him,” Jones said.

But even with the support of the Great American Smokeout, Jones laments about quitting.

“I don’t think I can quit for a day, let alone altogether, unless classes get easier, my stress levels get smaller and my boyfriend does it with me,” she said. “I need the support.”

The Smokeout is bypassing Youngstown, but local support is available.

“There are no local activities to be a part of that are in that particular area,” said Amber Wells, American Cancer Society information specialist. “If any [smokers are] trying to quit, there are local resources that the American Cancer Society can give them access to.”

The Smokeout is held every year on the third Thursday of November and is a day when many smokers will quit smoking for 24 hours or for good.

“Local resources include the St. Elizabeth Health Center Smoking Cessation and Tobacco programs, the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line, and the American Cancer Society is offering a program to assist people who are trying to quit,” Wells said.

Wells added that the American Cancer Society is offering five coaching calls and access to a “quit coach,” Web coaching, decision support, dose and duration of medication if needed, a printed quitting guide and motivational emails which will be sent throughout the quitting process.

“To learn more about the program, call 1-866-Quit-4-Life, which is open to anyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Wells said.

However, some students question the accessibility of these local programs.

Jones said the programs could help but questioned whether a smoker could quit for good with only the programs’ support.

“I think the programs are a good idea, but the only problem is that a lot of people smoke socially,” she said. “I know that being around people who smoke makes it harder for me to resist a smoke.”

Sophomore Jeffery Bacco, a nonsmoker, said he believes resources can be useful but may not be enough.

“If activities of the Great American Smokeout were here in Youngstown, it might be the push that all the smokers, on campus especially, might need,” he said.

Bacco said the hotlines “are only good for people who have the strength to stay away from smoking when they are away from the phone.”

The American Cancer Society is holding its 36th Great American Smokeout on Thursday.

According to the American Cancer Society’s website, it took over the idea of quitting smoking for 24 hours, and it leaked nationally after the California Division succeeded in getting nearly 1 million smokers to quit for a day.

More than 80 percent of lung cancers are the result of smoking, and, according to the American Cancer Society website, 46 million adults in the United States smoke; about half of those will die prematurely from smoking.