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Smokeout on Thursday offers help to quit smoking

Western Wisconsin Working for Tobacco-Free Living (W3TFL) and Healthier Together-St. Croix County encourages tobacco users to participate in the Great American Smokeout on Thursday, Nov. 15.

The Great American Smokeout is a national quit day held every year by the American Cancer Society, and 2012 marks the 37th year it has been recognized. The day is selected to raise awareness on the dangers of tobacco and to help tobacco users quit, for at least one day, with the hope that they will quit for good.

By doing so, tobacco users will be taking an important step towards a healthier life - one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.

Reap the benefits fast:

* 20 minutes after quitting: Your blood pressure drops to a level close to that before the last cigarette. The temperature of your hands and feet increases to normal.

* 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood begins to drop to normal.

* 24 hours after quitting: Your chance of a heart attack decreases.

And these benefits are just within the first 24 hours. The health benefits of quitting are endless.

Tobacco use remains one of our number one causes of preventable death. The good news is most smokers want to quit and free help is a phone call or a click away.

The Wisconsin Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW or provides free, personalized assistance by professional quit coaches. The coaches will work with helpline callers to develop a quit plan tailored to individual needs.

Tobacco users seeking assistance in quitting are also encouraged to visit the American Cancer Society website, www.greatamerican, to find tips, tools and resources that help with the process of quitting tobacco. A primary care provider is always a place to start the process of quitting as well.

Tobacco users who make a plan, pick a day to quit, and receive some type of support are most successful at quitting. Choosing the Great American Smokeout as the day to quit and using all available resources gives smokers a great chance of quitting for good.

Call W3TFL coordinator, Mary Boe, at 715-485-8834 or Freedom From Smoking Facilitator, Tonya Love, at 715-531-6409 for more information.