Great American Smokeout – A Time to Quit

Today is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.  It is a day designated to all smokers to kick the habit once and for all.    

The American Cancer Society reports more than 224,000 lung cancer diagnosis last year alone with 116,000 in men and 108,000 in women.

Those numbers are only part of the reason one woman said she is stepping up to help smokers quit. Local 6’s Mychaela Bruner met Tammy Brown who says she has never smoked, but knows the pain of it all too well.

Every eight seconds, someone dies from tobacco use, according to the World Health Organization.  For every cigarette smoked, you lose an average of five minutes of your life.

"It’s a different story for every person. I myself have never been a smoker, but it has affected my life. I lost my father to lung cancer," said Brown.

Brown knows first-hand how smoking can change your life.  As Baptist Health’s Clinical Outcome’s Coordinator, she is now helping others.

"Is it really addiction or is it habit? We help them define between the two," said Brown.

Through the Beat the Pack program, Brown helps provide support for smokers wanting to quit.

"Some people already quit but need the extra support to continue, some quit during the program, and some people use the program to make their quit date and set a plan for how they are going to quit," said Brown.

Brown has helped dozens of people like Tansie Korth. Korth is now eight months smoke-free.

"I had seen things working at the hospital with people that smoked and had cancer. You come to a point where you see it and realize you need to quit," said Korth.

She says the hardest part is breaking the habit, but it is a battle that is worth fighting for.

The Beat the Pack program provides support for smokers wanting to quit.  It is free and open to the public.  There are five weekly, 30-minute sessions that provide peer support and encouragement. For more information, click here.

If you can’t make it to the classes, Baptist Health encourages the Quit Hotline. That number is 1.800.QUIT.NOW.

For more information about the Great American Smokeout, click here.

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