The Great American Smokeout (GASO) will be observed November 15, 2012, to encourage smokers to quit for a day in the hope they may quit for good. Cessation services are available to anyone in Florida who is ready to make a quit attempt by calling 1-877-U-CAN-Now or enrolling at www.quitnow.net/florida.
The Great American Smokeout officially began in 1977 but the event's roots reach back to 1971, when Arthur P. Mullaney challenged the citizens of Randolf, Massachusetts, to give up cigarettes for the day and donate the saved money to a high school scholarship fund. Mullaney coined the term Smokeout. Later, Lynn R. Smith, editor of the Monticello Times in Minnesota, spearheaded that state's first D-Day, or Don't Smoke Day. D-Day spread like wildfire throughout Minnesota and then blazed west to California, where it became the Great American Smokeout.
In support of the Great American Smokeout, SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) members will create and display banners and posters in ten Bay District middle and high schools. Recognition of this national observance supports the current Bay District Schools K-12 tobacco-free grounds policy. This policy states that tobacco is not to be used by any person --- including students, faculty, administration, and parents -- on any Bay District Schools property.
The toll-free telephone number for the American Cancer Society is 1-800-ACS-2345. Information about the Great American Smokeout also is available on the American Cancer Society's Web site at www.cancer.org.
For more information, contact the Bay County Health Department at 850-872-4455 ext. 1136 or visit the website at www.baycountyhealth.org