ShareThis Page

Smokers urged to quit as Great American Smokeout is underway

Ben Schmitt
| Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, 10:15 a.m.

Don't smoke 'em if you got 'em.

That's the message Thursday from acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine as she encouraged Pennsylvania residents to take part in a Great American Smokeout event near them to learn more about ways to quit cigarette smoking.

"Smoking kills, and these events give people the tools they need to break this dangerous addiction," Dr. Levine said. "Quitting smoking lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases and can add years to your life. It is difficult, but we want smokers to know that help is available and the effort is worth it."

Figures from the Allegheny County Health Department show that more than 12 percent of pregnant women in the county smoke cigarettes. Tobacco use can cause low birth weight and infertility. In all, 19 percent of county residents, or 233,000 people, are smokers.

Anyone interested in stopping tobacco use can call a free "Quitline" at 800-QUIT-NOW." Staff are waiting to help people carry out a plan to quit smoking.

The Great American Smokeout is sponsored annually by the American Cancer Society on the third Thursday in November each year.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Allegheny Health Network in conjunction with Breathe Pennsylvania , a nonprofit lung health advocacy group, on Thursday announced a social media campaign in an effort to curb smoking.

Here's how it works:

• Take a photo of one of AHN's unique displays highlighting smoking cessation and lung cancer survivors. The displays are on the Sandusky Street side of Allegheny General Hospital; at 16th Street and Penn Avenue; and on sidewalks in a variety of Pittsburgh locations, including West Penn Hospital, Liberty Avenue, Boulevard of the Allies, Fifth Avenue, Federal Street, Butler Street, the Clemente and Rachel Carson bridges and Fort Duquesne Boulevard.

• Post the photo publicly on social media and tag @AHNToday

• For each tagged photo, AHN will donate $10 to Breathe PA's smoking cessation programs.

The campaign lasts throughout November.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, or via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me