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4th Annual Great American Smokeout Event in Titusville

Youth members from the YWCA, United Way Kids, Titusville Area High School and Middle School will take to the streets on Thursday, November 16th to show support for community members participating in the American Cancer Society’s, Great American Smokeout.

The event kicks off at the YWCA Titusville directly after school and will end around 4:30 pm.  The students will start and end their one-mile loop walk, or Cold Turkey Trot at the YWCA.  The goal is to provide encouragement to local residence who are currently involved in a quit attempt,” says YWCA Director Ashleigh English. “We also want to educate about the free quit programs available and to raise awareness about the harms of tobacco use.” This our fourth walk,” adds English. “and this year we are adding more activities. We are lucky to have such a committed group of kids but all are welcome to join us.”

The Cold Turkey Trot is part of a Cold Turkey Campaign which is a play on words and seeks to encourage tobacco users to make a plan to quit instead of quitting cold turkey. Having a plan increases chances of success.  In Titusville and neighboring cities, residence can take part by making a pledge to quit or to sign up for a cessation program using the Great American Smokeout, November 16th as the date to start their plan or plan ahead to quit on that date.  Cessation programs are free and include the PA Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW,) pa.quitlogix.org and local cessation classes. 

Quit classes at the YWCA, are currently in progress, and local health care providers, Titusville Chamber of Commerce and the YWCA are serving as registration sites for the PA Free Quitline which offers free counseling and nicotine patches, gum and lozenges.  All class participants and Quitline registrants will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of 3 frozen Turkeys (or gift card valued for the price of a turkey) donated by Giant Eagle, Walmart and Save-A-Lot. The drawing will take place after the Trot on the 16th.

According to the American Cancer Society website, about 36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world. While cigarette smoking rates have dropped (from 42% in 1965 to 15.1% in 2015), cigar, pipe, and hookah – other dangerous and addictive ways to smoke tobacco – are very much on the rise. Smoking kills people.  There is no “safe” way to smoke tobacco. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits at any age. Quitting is hard, but getting help through counseling or medications can double or triple the chances of quitting successfully.

Youth groups participating so far in the Trot are members of the Titusville YWCA, United Way of the Titusville Region, Titusville High School’s, Stand Tall, Girls Soccer Team, and Boys Varsity Soccer Team; all of whom are members of the Tobacco Resistance Unit (TRU).

TRU advocates against Big Tobacco marketing techniques designed to entice youth into using tobacco and other nicotine products while raising awareness of health hazards of tobacco use among peers.  NWPA region has the largest TRU membership in the state.

The walk is also sponsored by TRU, the YWCA, NWPA Tobacco Control Program, Titusville Chamber of Commerce, Crawford Health Improvement Coalition, The United Way of the Titusville Region, and the Erie County Department of Health.

For more information on The Great American Smokeout visit www.cancer.org, for information on the Cold Turkey Campaign and local cessation programs, contact Paula Di Gregory at 814.758.1919. 

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