KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The Kansas City Kansas Community College Respiratory Therapy Department is sponsoring the Great American Smokeout later this week.
The event is from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 20 in Lower Jewell. The KCKCC Wellness Committee is also organizing an effort to pick up cigarette butts and trash around campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Rob Crane at 913-288-7183 for more information or to volunteer.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. However, an estimated 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. As of 2012, there were also 13.4 million cigar smokers in the country and 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes.
Andrica Wilcoxen, outreach and prevention coordinator at KCKCC’s Student and Community Resource Center, said the American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year.
The goal is to encourage smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting, even for one day, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life. One that can lead to reducing the risk of cancer.
During KCKCC’s Great American Smokeout, there will be free health screenings including those for - blood pressure checks, Carbon Monoxide screening and a test that will show people how young their lungs are.
“In the past, these screenings really opened up participants eyes based off their results,” Wilcoxen said. “We encourage everyone at KCKCC and our community members to be part of the screenings. These are screenings that many people do not utilize on a regular basis.”
In addition, the Respiratory Therapy Department and the Division of Student Services: Student and Community Outreach will be giving out information as to how to quit smoking and will be hosting a raffle to win a turkey. Tickets are $2, and all proceeds will go towards the Respiratory Therapy Scholarship fund.
For more information on the Great American Smokeout, contact Andrica Wilcoxen at 913-288-7439.