Quitters don't always finish last.
The 35th Great American Smokeout will be held this Thursday in the Student Union lobby. The Smokeout is an annual event that encourages smokers to give up smoking for one day, with the hope that they give up the habit for good.
"We do get excited about the Smokeout, but just to know if you don't quit on the [day of the] Smokeout there [are] 355 [other] days to quit," said Sharlynn Daun-Barnett, alcohol, tobacco & other drug prevention specialist. "It's not about the New Year's resolution because some people [say],‘I quit every year.'"
The percentage of adult smokers has decreased over the past 30 years from 34 percent to 21 percent, but it is still a problem that results in thousands of deaths each year. Smoking among students at UB has decreased over the past couple of years from 15 percent to 12 percent, according to Daun-Barnett.
The Smokeout will include a variety of events that range from a cold turkey bowling game to a cigarette hand-in. There will also be a lung capacity test to see how healthy a person's lungs are, regardless of whether he/she smokes or not. Of course, smoking cessation information will also be provided.
The event is one part of an ongoing series of events to quit smoking this week. Workshops were held on Tuesday in Ellicott to reach students, and a workshop will be held on Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 235 Student Union, where two UB students will share their experiences of giving up smoking.
Daun-Barnett emphasizes that it won't necessarily take only one day to quit smoking. A person cannot just be told to quit smoking; a person must be ready to quit.
"It's not magic, you have to do a lot of work to quit," Daun-Barnett said.
"Quick clinics" are held every Monday and Wednesday at 114 Student Union if students aren't ready to quit on Thursday.
Tobacco use still remains the most preventable cause of death. Smokers who quit smoking can expect to live 10 years longer than those who continue to smoke, according to an American Cancer Society report published in 2010.
"This day makes people think about it… so whether they quit at that exact day or they [receive] some resources which led them to quit, it's good [either way]," Daun-Barnett said.