ETX Health officials encourage smokers to quit during the Great - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

ETX Health officials encourage smokers to quit during the Great American Smokeout

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Thursday smokers nationwide will be encouraged to quit during the 37th Great American Smokeout.

"Using a day to quit cold turkey or to make a drastic effort prior to the Great American Smokeout to make the Great American Smokeout their quit day," said Alicia Bergeron, Health Initiative Regional Director, American Cancer Society.

Health officials say that smoking can be linked to diabetes, respiratory diseases and various cancers and smokers can lower their risk for these diseases by nipping their smoking habit in the bud.

"For people to quit it prolongs their life," said Maci Herrington, Special Project Coordinator, Smoke-Free Lufkin.

For New Year's Brett Bailey quit smoking cold turkey, bailey says the first month or so was a challenge but says a year of healthier habits has improved his health

"I'm definitely more energetic, definitely more mentally alert, I have more energy and I want to do more activities," said Bailey.

Caleb Nelson quit using cigarettes two years ago by using a vapping alternative.

"You still get a small amount of nicotine to battle the cravings but you don't get any of the carcinogens no smoke smell," said Nelson.

Officials say to stop smoking isn't easy but it can happen, smokers just have to drop the habit at their own pace.

"Nicotine replacement therapy, speaking with your physicians about opportunities to quite, trying to make an effort to smoke fewer cigarettes than you currently smoke," said Bergeron.

Fewer smokers in the community means cleaner air for everyone to share.

"Nobody wants to smell someone else's smoke when they walk into stores or sitting in a restaurant and second hand smoke is just as dangerous," said Herrington.

The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and get smokers on a path to a healthier life.

Smoke Free Lufkin's Drug Free All Stars will be out at the Angelina County Health District Thursday morning to encourage people to quit smoking.

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