Want to be a quitter?
Several local hospitals are offering help for people who want to kick the smoking habit this week during the American Cancer Society’s 37th Great American Smokeout.
Akron General Medical Center is celebrating the Great American Smokeout from 7:30 a.m. to noon Thursday in the hospital’s main lobby.
The event, which is open to employees and the public, will provide informational resources to people who want to quit smoking.
Free pulmonary function screenings will be provided by Akron General’s Respiratory Care Department. Cope kits to help smokers deal with cravings also will be available.
Exhibitors will include Akron General’s Heart and Vascular Center and the McDowell Cancer Center, Pfizer, the Summit County Tobacco Prevention Coalition and the American Cancer Society.
Sign-ups also will be available for upcoming free smoking cessation programs, which will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday from Nov. 20 through Dec. 18 at the Akron General Heart and Vascular Center. (An additional class will be held Dec. 13.) The sessions will be led by Kathy McCown, a respiratory therapist at Akron General’s Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute.
People also can register for the classes by calling 330-344-2462.
Aultman Hospital in Canton is offering free screenings and giveaways from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in the main lobby.
Certified tobacco treatment specialists will be available to provide tools and education to help smokers kick the habit. Free carbon monoxide detection screenings, smoking cessation information and nicotine gum samples also will be provided.
For more information, call 330-363-3333.
Summa Health System is celebrating the Great American Smokeout by launching a program called Beat the Pack to encourage employees to help co-workers kick the smoking habit.
From 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Thursday, Summa employees can sign up with the Wellness Works employee wellness department near the cafeteria at Akron City Hospital to become certified quit-smoking instructors.
Participants will take a two-hour training course and commit to teaching a three-session Beat the Pack course each year to their co-workers.
The health system also is holding a Soup for the Cure fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday on the ground floor of the Jean and Milton Cooper Cancer Center, 161 N. Forge St., Akron. Soup, bread, a beverage and dessert will be available for a minimum $5 donation, with proceeds supporting lung cancer education for Summa patients.
According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. About 43.8 million Americans smoke cigarettes, while another 13.2 million smoke cigars and 2.2 million smoke tobacco in pipes.
The nonprofit group estimates tobacco-related health-care costs an average of $35 for every pack of cigarettes smoked in the United States.
“Quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do for your health and the Great American Smokeout is a great way to start,” American Cancer Society spokeswoman Alexandra Vukoder said in a news release.
To find more help quitting smoking, call the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345 or visit the American Cancer Society’s website at www.cancer.org and select “Great American Smokeout.”
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or email@example.com. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.