Smokeout encourages kicking nicotine habits

By AJ Edwards

If you’ve tried to quit smoking before but have had no luck, now is your opportunity to quit for the last time.

The American Cancer Society is holding the Great American Smokeout this month, which encourages smokers to set a goal to quit by or shortly after Nov. 21.

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.

Still, about 43.8 million Americans  — nearly one in every five adults — smoke cigarettes. By quitting, even if it’s only for one day, smokers will be taking an important step toward reducing their risk of cancer.

Quitting smoking is not easy, otherwise everyone would be able to do it. It takes sacrifice, self-control and positive support from friends and family.

Lucky for us, NIU has a great support program for students or staff members who wish to quit smoking.

Health Enhancement, located in the Chick Evans Field House, Room 139, offers Xtreme Air, a program to help students quit smoking.

“Xtreme Air is a one-on-one educational session to help smokers plan and implement their own quitting program,” said Alicia Czachowski, assistant director of Health Enhancement. “It’s tailored toward the student and helps them get the steps in place for them so they can quit successfully.”

If only a small percentage of NIU’s smokers quit smoking for one day, the results would be great — and not just for the smoker. One benefit for both smokers and non-smokers would be less cigarette litter on campus.

It would be great to see the beauty of NIU’s campus without cigarette butts lying all around the doorways to our buildings.

In support of the Great American Smokeout, I am proud to say I have been smoke-free for five days. It was not easy, but I felt the time was right, and the Great American Smokeout gave me a date to set for my goal to quit smoking.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said political science major Joshua Shaw. “Coming from someone who has quit smoking, I think people would be surprised at how easy it is to give up smoking if they just commit to not smoke for one day.”

We all should come together as a community to set a goal to quit smoking either by Nov. 21, or at least to not smoke on that day. We can provide a limitless support group for our fellow Huskies who are making the effort to quit. By quitting, even if just for the one day, we have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

“People would be making healthy, informed choices to better their lives as students and individuals,” said senior communication major Christine Robinson.

Being Huskies and the future of our great nation, we all need to take action to ensure a healthy future for ourselves and our friends.

Taking part in the Great American Smokeout is a great start for us to ensure our health for years to come.