Great American Smoke-Out encourages quitting

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death here in Colorado, according to the Colorado Tobacco Education, Prevention, and Cessation Program.

That's why today, Nov. 15, is the Great American Smoke-Out across the country.

It's a day for smokers across the country to quit or plan a time to kick the habit starting today.

The American Cancer Society reports that tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer, but kicking butts today can mean taking an important step towards a healthier life, one that can lead to reducing that risk.

The society estimates 43.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes: nearly 1 in 5 adults.

As of 2010, there were about 13.2 million cigar smokers in the U.S., and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes.

No matter how you smoke it, tobacco is always dangerous and addictive, even when inhaled secondhand.

If you're among the millions of Americans who are still at risk, know more about kicking the habit. The best chance of staying away from smoking means knowing what you're up against, what your options are, and where to go for help.

Here in Mesa County, you can contact the Mesa County Tobacco Education Council for local resources. They host four-week sessions called "Freshstart," where for one hour a week, you can get the tools, resources and support you need to kick butts for good.

Just call the MCTEC at 970-254-4108. You can also visit the Colorado Quit-line's website, a link to which can be found below.

The sooner you quit, the sooner you can get yourself back to a healthier lifestyle, both inside and out.