It’s not every day you see people throwing frozen turkeys around for the fun of it.
But for those who turned out to the Great American Smoke Out at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center (PIMC) a week before Thanksgiving, the “Cold Turkey Toss” was a top draw.
It wasn’t just fun and games for the organizations on hand, including the American Lung Association. The Great American Smoke Out represents an opportunity to educate people on quitting smoking and the cascade of resulting benefits.
Representatives from the American Lung Association spoke to dozens of people about the benefits of quitting, and handed out “quit kits” with information, lip balm, stress balls and cinnamon toothpicks inside.
“The ‘quit kits’ have been going like hotcakes,” Brenda Serna with American Lung Association in Arizona said. “We have provided a lot of information and support to encourage people and their friends and family to improve their lung health,” Serna said.
Serna added in many ways smoking is part of Native American culture for men. Many visitors to the American Lung Association booth were women who hoped to encourage men in their lives to quit.
Other organizations on hand included Arizonans Concerned about Smoking, Native Health, PIMC Health Education and Pharmacy, and Brain and Body Fitness. Participants had a variety of information on hand about nicotine patches and gum, prescription drugs, health and lifestyle choices, and even a financial chart demonstrating money saved by quitting over an adult lifetime. Raffle prizes and games like the “Cold Turkey Toss” proved to be popular with attendees.
Alex Romero, Vice President of Arizonans Concerned About Smoking, said his organization is passionate about the Smoke Out because of the lives it saves from helping people quit.
“It’s an uphill fight, but you never give up,” Romero said. “[The Smoke Out] is a wonderful avenue to talk to people and bring people into the coalition. It’s healthy to bring people to the table.”