Smokeout Day Thursday

Willcox Range News- Nov. 20th, 2013

On Thursday, Nov. 21, local teens will promote The Great American Smokeout, which is a day when smokers are encouraged to quit tobacco for the day, and quit for life. This year, members of the Cochise County Youth Health Coalition (CCYHC), in conjunction with Arizona’s statewide anti-tobacco youth coalition Students Taking a New Direction (better known as STAND), will take that one step further urging Arizonans to ‘decide today for life-long-strong lungs.’

In partnership with the American Lung Association (ALA), STAND will be holding events throughout Arizona promoting the health impact of living and working in a smoke-free environment.  For Cochise County residents, this event will be held all day Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Government Building Health Department in Douglas, 1012 G Ave.  STAND members are partnering with members of the ALA’s Better Breather’s club to provide interactive demonstrations on how smoking can affect your lungs.

“When it comes to smoking and the health effects, it is usually cancer related problems that you hear about,” said Jesus Duarte of the Cochise Health & Social Services.  “We want to also remind people that smoking affects your lungs too.  But not just your lungs, it affects those around you too.”

STAND members also will be showcasing their efforts to make their community smoke-free, including working with the City of Douglas to establish smoke-free parks and encouraging Cochise College campuses to go smoke-free.

“Parks are meant for everyone to enjoy,” said Seinna Martinez of the CCYHC.  “It’s not just the smoke; it’s also the cigarette butts that are left everywhere, even in the sandboxes.”

Additionally, the ALA will host a Twitter chat today, Nov. 20, at noon to discuss Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (hashtag  #COPD).

STAND is a statewide coalition of students aged 13-18 who work to not only raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use, but to urge elected officials at all levels of government to treat cigarettes as hazardous materials — including creating regulations for storage, transport, sale and disposal (www.standaz.com).

The Great American Smokeout is organized nationally by the American Cancer Society.  It is held the on the third Thursday of November each year.  Visit www.cancer.org/smokeout

For additional information, please contact Suzanne Hagle at (520) 432-9493 or shagle@cochise.az.gov.

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