Today is the Great American Smokeout (GASO), a day to commit to being tobacco free. The American Cancer Society (ACS) designates the third Thursday of every year as the GASO, which encourages smokers to make a pledge to quit using tobacco products for just one day.
“The most important thing Hoosiers can do to improve their health is to quit using any tobacco products,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “The Indiana Department of Health supports those who take their first steps toward making a plan to quit for good.” The ACS emphasizes that those who use tobacco don’t have to quit in one day – they just have to start with “day one” of their quit journey.
“During this year’s Great American Smokeout event, we hope Hoosiers will join us in committing, or recommitting, to living smoke-free lives and encourage their friends and family members to do the same,” Box said. “We know quitting is difficult, but Indiana has resources to help.”
More than 1 million Hoosier adults smoke, and more than 18 percent of Indiana high school students used e-cigarettes in 2018, double the figure from 2016. Smoking can increase the risk of severe respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19 and influenza. It also contributes to preterm birth and higher infant mortality rates.
Indiana offers free programs to help Hoosiers quit tobacco use, such as Quit Now Indiana. It offers tobacco quit services for all Indiana residents ages 13 and older.
Quit Now Indiana has been working to make quitting easier through new and improved service offerings, including Text2Start, a new and easy way for Hoosiers to connect with a variety of quit services that include text, coaching, and medication support, which provides increased flexibility through a choice of tools to help individuals quit. While supplies last, Hoosiers can receive free medications when enrolling in services.
Hoosiers interested in starting their quit journey can visit QuitNowIndiana.com, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or text READY to 200-400 for assistance. Youth looking to quit vaping can also text INDIANA to 873373 to access the Live Vape Free text messaging program.
More information about the impact of smoking in Indiana is available on the state Department of Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation website.