Today is the Great American Smokeout!

November 15, 2012 8:00 am · 33 comments

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) is encouraging smokers to “be a quitter” for at least 24 hours as part of the annual Great American Smokeout on Thursday November 15th (today).

CCHS will be offering “Quit Kits” to help smokers kick the habit, as well as free lung screenings on the day of the Smokeout. The Quit Kits will include items to help tobacco-users curb their cravings such as stress balls, cinnamon sticks and coupons for smoking cessation aids.

The lung screenings or “spirometry” tests provide quick results and can detect the early onset of lung disease. The Great American Smokeout, a national event started by the American Cancer Society 37 years ago, encourages smokers to quit for at least 24 hours and make a plan to quit permanently.

WHO: Anyone who wants to quit smoking is welcome.

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, November 15th: Lung Screenings and Quit Kits will be offered at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (2500 Alhambra Ave, Martinez) and Martinez Health Center (located next to CCRMC) from 8am – 4pm. Quit Kits also will be available at all our Health Centers (located in Antioch, Bay Point, Brentwood, Concord, Martinez, North Richmond, Pittsburg and San Pablo).

WHY: Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The Great American Smokeout helps smokers take an important first step toward leading longer, healthier lives.

For more information, please visit or

Parsnip November 15, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Thirty-one years ago today I stopped smoking. And I didn’t even know that I was quitting on The Great American Smokeout day.

Life is good! 🙂

Blah Blah blah November 15, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Dang I came here to find where I could be Smoked Out. I guess I better head to Colorado.

P.S. This is false advertising. 😉

Anon November 15, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Maybe that kid could go over to Lucky’s and try his luck there?

Howard K Mullins III November 15, 2012 at 8:50 AM

I am going out and smoke.

Geezer November 15, 2012 at 8:53 AM

The jokes are funny, but in all seriousness, if you smoke please consider quiting today. I smoked for 30 years, and quiting was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. But it was the most rewarding. I’ve been smoke free for 16 years. I began exercising, and I feel better now than I ever have in my entire life. My family nagged me for years to stop, but I ENJOYED smoking. It was my comfort when I was hungry, tired, stressed, weary, or just plain needed a break. BUT, it was also my master, and torturer. The truning point for me was when I was in Hawaii and I would get out of the beatiful water to sit on the beach because I had to have a cigarette. That’s when I realized it controlled me. It was several years later when I finally had the strength enough to quit. I am never sorry I quit. I conqured the addiction. You can too. You’ll feel so much better if you do. Belive me….

dilligafman November 15, 2012 at 8:54 AM

i’m trying to quit. it’s not easy but i’m gonna do it !!!!

Geezer November 15, 2012 at 9:13 AM

@dilligafman…..You can do it…. You really can… it will be hard, but you can do it.

Parsnip November 15, 2012 at 9:19 AM

@Geezer — I was just in my 20s. I got tired of coming down with walking pneumonia. Then bronchitis hit — that pretty much convinced me. (As did the publisher for whom I worked.).
Now I smell a smoker a distance away, and think that was once me … phew!

bluebird November 15, 2012 at 9:24 AM

It has been 25 years since I lasted smoked. I was a chain smoker and went cold-turkey on Smoke Out Day, 1987. I am so glad I did, and you will be too, when you stop smoking. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for someone else.

The hardest part for me was what to do with my hands. Before that day, I always had a cigarette in my hand. I was pregnant at the time and I didn’t want the doctor to smell cigarette smoke on me, so I decided to quit on Smoke Out Day. I guess I did it for the baby and myself. It worked for me.

Geezer November 15, 2012 at 9:27 AM

@parsnip. I know exactly what you mean. When I was a smoker I hated what I called “reformed smokers” because they were alwasy on their high horse about quiting. Now, as a former smoker, I want to help any smoker I can quit. I don’t want to preach or sound sanctamounious….. I just know, that that use to be me and it’s so much better now, so what can I do to help.

Dragon November 15, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Congratulations to everyone who has managed to quit smoking – you’ve accomplished something incredibly difficult and amazing.

To everyone who wishes to quit, today or another day, more power to you. You can do it!

Howard K Mullins III November 15, 2012 at 9:32 AM

I am still going out and smoke. I enjoy my cigars.

Everything in moderation.

Be considerate of others. (Its a two way street)

Enjoy the day.

vh November 15, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Glad to hear this has helped some people. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to yourself and the ones you love. Your right that you will feel a lot better. In fact i bet a lot of the health issues you may have might just disappear. Good luck!

Parsnip November 15, 2012 at 9:47 AM

@Geezer — and to think that when I smoked (in the ’70s), a pack was 25 cents, a carton $2.00 to $2.50.

The irony of the situation — 25 cents was then the cost of a gallon of gas. $4.50 was recently the same cost of a gallon or a pack.

anon November 15, 2012 at 9:47 AM

I quit smoking pot at a teen. I am still tempted to get high when I remember how fun the laughers were. But I know my mature mind cannot return to the inanity.

As for tobacco. I quit that too. I was lucky/smart in that I never smoked in the Morning or at work. If you do these two things, you are addicted. Big Time. Don’t ever reach for a smoke at your morning bedside. And pretend you are a non smoker at work. That leaves a smoke for after work or dinner. Giving up one a day is far easier than the first one in the morning.

hmmmm November 15, 2012 at 9:53 AM

“Kissing someone who smokes is like licking an ashtray”
That was a bumper sticker read in my teens…made my choice for me..
Love kissing….ash tray licking no way!

DT November 15, 2012 at 9:59 AM

I quit smoking cigarettes 3 months ago and started vape’ing (with the electronic cigarette). Produces a harmless vapor (not smoke) and is much healthier for me and everyone around me. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you need to quit those nasty cigarettes!

Geezer November 15, 2012 at 10:01 AM

@Parsnip. Interesting analogy. I never thought of comparing the price of cigarettes to gasoline. I remember the days when the Airlines would include a little package of 3 cigarettes with the meal they would serve you…. WOW, I am OLD>>>>>

Shuley November 15, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Will have to smoke a fatty tonight when my day is done in celebration. Haven’t smoked a cigarette in 20 years. Just the occasional MJ puff. Get ready folks, MJ will be legal by 2014. We have passed the tipping point.

Almost too late November 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Ironic just released from hospital yesterday. 48 yrs old, went in with fevers and chills and some aches and pains. Come out with bad news 40% oxygen levels in heart and can’t be improved. From 30 years of smoking, bad eating. If I wish to be old and grey and enjoy my pension, I have to become a health nut now and learn to adapt to my limitations. If I ignore it, next step would be placed on oxygen.

All those symptoms is reaction of starved body wanting more oxygen so pay attention to those cold hands or feet, next it aches and pains. Heart not delivering oxygen. Not something you can get back. Can only stop and prevent further loss eventual death. I kept dismissing over and over as bug

Here to say Denial to self don’t work. Looking at family members doing same and tell yourself genetics I’m ok. Again denial. Didn’t work for me but good news, got them all to think and everyone quitting so perhaps this is the good in the bad news. Procrastinate, be in denial if you like, but reality is your hearts ability to deliver oxygen is reduced over time smoking and you can’t magically get it back. That reality hit me and doing all I can to take better care so I can still enjoy the late years.

Ironic in timing today is smoke out.

Parsnip November 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM

@Almost too late — You’ve had the good fortune to have it recognized and to reverse the habits. (Incidentally, I have had a heart condition since birth, only I didn’t learn of it until I was forty. I was fortunate to have quit in my ’20s. The last thing I needed was bad lungs AND heart disease. My heart disease is benign — but I could have been worsening it.). Follow your doctor’s orders, exercise, eat healthy. At age 48 you still have years to go!

StarShip November 15, 2012 at 11:28 AM

This is really false advertising. If I smoked herbs, I would light up the biggest, fattest bomb and celebrate this day. Since I don’t–I guess I’ll just go have a cigarette; one of these days I will quit once I get the incentive to do so.

Back to it–I am trying to get earth’s scientists to change the name of my world to it’s real name, Euphradia. They keep calling it an orphan planet just because it has no obvious sun. Silly scientists.

Concord Mike November 15, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Another good reason to restrict the use of MJ. More toxic than cigarettes!

Dorothy November 15, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Well over 20 years into my quit. Problem is, sometime I still feel the need to pick one up and puff away. It’s sort of like any other addiction. Hard to quit, hard to stay quit, and it can sneak up and bite you years later.

Geezer November 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Well put !….. Most of the time, I smell someone smoking and I think Yuck… But every once in awhile, the smell takes me back and smells soooo good and I’d really like to light up….. It’s funny, not always, but only sometimes, I could see myself smoking again. Addiction is an incidious thing… It’s much better to never have started, but if you have, QUIT… YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

nytemuvr November 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM

@Geezer #18
I remember those complimentary 3-packs on planes and when I was a little squirt our doctor would puff away while he treated you and dentists too.

Kitkwood November 15, 2012 at 1:37 PM

At both military and civilian flight refreshers involving the altitude chamber, I remember instructors telling us that smoker’s lungs were at 5000 feet even on the ground.

B.T.W I gave up smoking when I was 10 years old. 🙂

dilligafman November 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM

i got one of those e-cigs and it does help. now what to get to quit it?

Parsnip November 15, 2012 at 2:37 PM

@dilligafman #28 — Here you go:

(I thought these things were non-existent.)

Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds became my substitute.

Sunstar November 15, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Oh yuk–those bubble gum cigars are only for when you are going to have a baby. And you’ve just quit smoking. What do they taste like Parsnips?

funny man November 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM

my parents always told me, no one likes a quitter.
4.50 a pack?? oh for those cheap nasty chemical laden one?
i pay almost 7 bucks a pack for all natural American spirits
going on 16 years of smoking, no health effects, it’s all in your heads!

Parsnip November 15, 2012 at 3:29 PM

@Sunstar — LOL. I quit smoking 31 years ago (today)! I remember bubble gum *cigarettes* from eons ago — and those were for kids to “have fun?” Back East we even had chocolate cigarettes. I didn’t even know bubble gum cigars existed today.

When I quit back in the ’70s gum was useless — it lasted about 3 minutes and the flavor was gone. I depended on pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds for the first month or so.

Sunstar November 15, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Chocolate cigarettes! Oh Yuk!……bubble gum is ok–but chocolate. That doesn’t even sound like a gum.

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