East Texas smokers encouraged to quit during Great American Smokeout

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Thursday is a day for quitting according to the AmericanCancer Society.

The Great American Smokeout is a day to raise awareness aboutthe effects of smoking and encouraging people who do smoke to quit for just oneday.

"Hopefullythat day will multiply into more days so they'll become smoke free," saidJean East, Program Director, The Coalition.

This past summerthe city of Lufkin passed a smoke free ordinance, meaning there is no smoking indoorsin public places or outdoors within 25 feet of the entrance.

Coalition ProgramManager Jean East says with the ordinance in place, smoking in the city islikely to decrease across the board.

"The lessopportunity that people have to smoke eventually some of those people will stopfor life," said East.

This is the secondsemester that Angelina College has been a tobacco free and they're hoping theirpolicy will have the same effect on students.

"We want a healthyenvironment number one for everybody including staff and faculty and studentsand this is where health habits start," said Myrtle Welch, Health CareServices, Angelina College.

Many students say theyare enjoying the difference in atmosphere.

"I am verysensitive to smoke I don't like being around it and before this was a smokefree campus I would walk around and literally have to hold my breath to crossover someone who was smoking," said Ashleigh, AC Student.

While some stillhave their reservations.

"I don'tsmoke, its none of my business but I don't think we should have restrictions onanything," said Henry, AC Student.

But health officials believe when people learn the value ofnot smoking they'll create a ripple effect of better health.

"They'regoing to encourage their peers and their families to adopt these healthylifestyles," said Welch.

Faculty members say if you are caughtsmoking on the Angelina College campus, students are asked to stop. If thesmoking continues students are asked to leave the campus. According to theAmerican Cancer Society smokers who quit can add up to ten years onto theirlives.

For more information on the GreatAmerican Smokeout and how to quit,visit www.cancer.org.

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