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10/30/2012 3:41:00 PM
Great American SmokeOut

November 15 2012, is the American Cancer Society’s 37th annual Great American SmokeOut. Since the first GASO in 1976, smoking rates among adults and children have dropped dramatically. More and more public spaces are smokefree, tobacco products cost more due to higher taxes, and everyone is more aware of the dangers of tobacco.

For all the success of the last 37 years, there is still a lot to do. In 2009, almost 10% of Oregon’s eighth graders and almost 15% of Oregon’s 11th graders smoked. The home is the primary source for second hand smoke exposure. About 10% of Oregon eighth graders report that there is smoking in their homes. Find additional Great American SmokeOut tools and resources for your school here.

What Can Parents and Teachers Do?
What parents and teachers say and how they act has an enormous influence on children and youth. Studies have found that parent actions, attitudes, and opinions about smoking influence whether or not kids smoke. A recent study found that parents’ anti-smoking rules such as not allowing smoking in the home are associated with reductions in children’s smoking.

Parents and teachers can help children and youth stay (or become) tobacco-free:
  • If you smoke, share your struggles with your children. Children and youth greatly underestimate how difficult it is to quit smoking. Showing how hard it is to quit (and making sure quitting doesn’t look easy) can help change this misperception. Trying to quit, despite the difficulties, sends a strong anti-smoking message.
  • Advocate for smoke-free homes. A smoke-free home makes children and youth less likely to smoke, even if their parents smoke. By not allowing anyone to smoke in their homes, parents make smoking less convenient for their kids and make a powerful statement that they believe smoking is undesirable.
  • If you don’t smoke, don’t start! If you do smoke, quit! Research shows that children who have a parent who smokes are more likely to smoke and to be heavier smokers at young ages. When parents quit smoking, their children become less likely to start. Teachers can help parents by having information about quitting on hand during back to school nights.
Help helps!
For anyone ready to quit smoking or using tobacco, parent, teacher or child, the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line is ready to help. People who use help to quit are more than twice as likely to be successful. The Oregon Tobacco Quit Line offers both telephone and online coaching as well as nicotine replacement therapy (patches). Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to www.quitnow.net/oregon for information or assistance.
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