NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - Some smokers are quitting cold turkey this Thanksgiving. as Thursday's "Great American Smokeout."
This year, the annual event is going back to its roots. The slogan more than 30 years ago was: "If you can quit for a day, you can quit for life." That works for some people.
Don Skibniewski quit 20 years ago and said, "After a week I said, 'Well, I did it for a week; I'll try for two.' And then after two weeks, 'I'll try for four.' And I just kept on going on and on and I haven't smoked since."
But most smokers need help quitting because they're addicted to nicotine. At Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, the Smokeout event emphasized the resources available.
Niagara Falls City Council member Charles Walker said, "We felt the Great American Smokeout would be an opportunity to really bring attention to not only the dangers and the risks of smoking, but also to the opportunity to receive help if you want to quit."
Patients, visitors and hospital staff all picked up the latest information - knowledge really helps people quit.
Shannon Waddell of Roswell Park Cancer Institute said, "Knowing facts about cigarettes, knowing where you can go to get help, knowing that you can contact the NYS Smokers' Quitline and they can provide you with support, resources and counseling, as well as nicotine replacement therapy."
The hospital is a great place to pass out information, because health professionals should spend more time talking with patients about smoking. That helps people quit. Smokers nationwide were encouraged to sign a pledge to go without smoking for 24 hours. Our own Joe Arena was one of them.
Any day is a good day to quit smoking, but that's especially true during the holiday season. You can learn more about kicking the habit here.
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