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

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Thursday smokers nationwide will beencouraged to quit during the 37th Great American Smokeout.

"Using a day to quit cold turkeyor to make a drastic effort prior to the Great American Smokeout to make the GreatAmerican Smokeout their quit day," said Alicia Bergeron, Health InitiativeRegional Director, American Cancer Society.

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

"For people to quit it prolongstheir life," said Maci Herrington, Special Project Coordinator, Smoke-FreeLufkin.

For New Year's Brett Bailey quitsmoking cold turkey, bailey says the first month or so was a challenge but saysa 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 twoyears ago by using a vapping alternative.

"You still get a small amount ofnicotine to battle the cravings but you don't get any of the carcinogens nosmoke smell," said Nelson.

Officials say to stop smoking isn'teasy 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 aneffort to smoke fewer cigarettes than you currently smoke," said Bergeron.

Fewer smokers in the community meanscleaner air for everyone to share.

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

The Great American Smokeout is anopportunity to wipe the slate clean and get smokers on a path to a healthierlife.

Smoke Free Lufkin's Drug Free All Stars willbe out at the Angelina County Health District Thursday morning to encouragepeople to quit smoking.

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