For this year’s Great American Smokeout, the Upshur Country Tobacco Prevention Coalition is planning to reward residents with a thanksgiving turkey to quit smoking. The Great American Smokeout is an annual event held by the American Cancer Society on the third Thursday of November to encourage Americans to quit smoking for one day. This is done with the hope that quitting one day will encourage addicted smokers to eventually quit smoking.
During the Great American Smokeout events, the organizers give some form of giveaways centred around thanksgiving as the day is close to thanksgiving. In Upshur county, Amanda Hayes, the Upshur County Tobacco Prevention coalition secretary just announced that her organization will give away thanksgiving turkey to a lucky resident who will give up smoking for 24 hours.
Besides the turkey giveaway, the Upshur Country Tobacco Prevention Coalition has done a few things that may be considered to be out of the box. For this year’s event, the organizers had an artist paint a cutout turkey that is now on display on the sidewalk near Chase Bank. This is a great photo Opp for those trying to quit smoking. It is also a perfect spot for some thanksgiving photos. Since November 10 many Upshur residents have visited the cardboard cutout turkey to take some beautiful thanksgiving photos.
Hayes said that the local coalition’s commission will reward those who interact with the cutout. She encouraged everyone to take photos of the cutout and post images on their social media to spread the word about the event and especially the chance to win. People who have taken photos of themselves with their faces in the cutout can post the images online with the hashtag #upshurquitcoldturkey. The social media photos with the hashtag will be put into a draw and a winner picked. The best photo winner will walk home with a gift card.
The American Cancer Society holds the Great American Smokeout every year on the Third Thursday of November. This year’s event will be held on 17th November 2022. The main goal of the Great American Smokeout event is to challenge tobacco smokers to abstain from the habit for 24 hours during the day of the event. The thinking behind this challenge is that once someone is able to resist the urge to smoke for 24 hours the individual will likely realize that he/she can actually quit the habit. This will help the individual reduce their smoking rate and eventually quit.
Vaping in West Virginia is a major epidemic. Vaping rates in west Virginia are out passing the national rates. Recent studies show that more than 35% of teens in west Virginia use e-cigarettes. This is a more than 150% increase between 2017 and 2019. With very high tobacco smoking rates west Virginia is facing a catastrophic future. This is not just about smokers because studies show that second-hand smoke increases the risk of one contracting lung cancer by more than 20%. This is a worrying trend.
It is on the basis of these sad statistics that the local Upshur County commission has thrown its support behind the American Cancer Society’s GREAT AMERICAN SMOKEOUT. The event will help spread the word about the dangers of smoking and offer help to those who want to quit smoking while providing an opportunity for Upshur County residents to win big this thanksgiving.