American Cancer Society encourages smokers to kick the habit with Great American Smokeout

This year marks the 45th edition of the Great American Smokeout, an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

News 12 Staff

Nov 19, 2020, 11:14 PM

Updated 1,312 days ago

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Long Island smokers are being encouraged to consider making a plan to quit -- now more than ever.
This year marks the 45th edition of the Great American Smokeout, an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
This year, in the midst of a pandemic, health professionals say it is even more important for people who smoke or vape to consider quitting. A study from the University of California-San Francisco found a person whose lungs are already damaged by smoking is at an increased risk of having a poor outcome if they become infected with COVID-19.
"What we know is that smokers that contract the virus may have a harder time with the symptoms because it is a lung disease, and of course their lungs are already compromised," says Paula Celestino, of New York State Smokers' Quitline. "So it does make sense for folks to try to quit smoking, it also helps boost the immune system because smoking suppresses your immune system."
But doctors recognize that kicking the habit is even more challenging during such a stressful time. Dr. Silva Tutthill, with Catholic Health Services, says they have seen an increase in the number of cigarettes they are smoking per day due to anxiety or boredom.
"If you fall off the wagon - don't be afraid to dust yourself off and get back on," says Tutthill.
Tutthill denoted that lung cancer claims more lives domestically and worldwide than breast, colon, pancreatic and prostate cancer combined.
The Smokers' Quitline has information available for those who want to quit. Those interested can call their phone number at 1-866-NYQuits.


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