November 18 is the Great American Smokeout | Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

November 18 is the Great American Smokeout

November 8, 2021

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a disease that affects the respiratory system, which primarily includes your lungs and your ability to breathe.

Smokers and people using vape pens or e-cigarettes may have less efficient lungs and may be hit harder by breathing issues resulting from the virus. ANTHC and the State of Alaska have resources available for quitting smoking, vaping and other tobacco product use. Contact the Alaska Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to learn more about free services for quitting tobacco, including over the phone and virtual consultation.

Considerations for people using tobacco products:

  • Smoking and vaping harms lung function, putting people at greater risk for complications related to COVID-19.
  • Smoking and vaping increase the risk for respiratory infections, and is a major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and diabetes. These factors put people who smoke at greater risk when confronted with the coronavirus.
  • Smoking and vaping may lead to preexisting but undiagnosed lung conditions, that can make recovery from respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19, more difficult.

The good news is that once you quit using tobacco products, your lungs and other organs can begin to heal themselves. There has never been a better time for smokers to quit and for individuals to protect their health by avoiding use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes

Since the 1970s, the American Cancer Society has inspired people to quit tobacco through the Great American Smokeout (GASO). Every year, GASO is celebrated on the third Thursday of November, which falls on Nov. 18 this year. Quitting tobacco whatever it may be, smoking, chew or iqmik is hard. For some, even thinking about quitting is far from the top of the priority list. Research has shown that 70% of people who smoke want to quit and that people who try to quit are more successful when they have support. Thousands of people across the country take part in GASO every year and the American Cancer Society provides the support and resources to help those who are ready to quit. For additional information on the Great American Smokeout visit here.

Join us!

Talk to your health care provider about quitting tobacco. You can also contact the ANTHC Tobacco Cessation program at (907) 729-4343 or the Alaska Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to learn more about free services when you are ready to quit.

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