This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.On Thursday, Carson City Health and Human Services will join with the American Cancer Society to encourage smokers around the United States to quit smoking as part of the Great American Smokeout. The idea for the Great American Smokeout grew from a 1971 event in Randolph, Mass., at which Arthur P. Mullaney asked people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money they would have spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund. Other states around the country followed suit, and in 1977, the American Cancer Society made it a nationwide event. Now, it’s held on the third Thursday in November.Since the first Smokeout, there have been dramatic changes in the way society views tobacco advertising and tobacco use. Tobacco use has declined steadily during the years, but many people still smoke, and tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. In Nevada, more than 21 percent of adults still are smokers, which put Nevada’s smoking rates 9th highest in the Nation. A recent survey of clients at Carson City Health and Human Services’ clients at the Long Street clinic reveals even higher rates of smoking. Approximately 31 percent of survey respondents acknowledged using cigarettes. However, 88 percent of those surveyed said that they had considered quitting, and 96 percent had resolved to cut back on their tobacco use. If you’re a smoker who wishes to quit, there are resources to help you. In addition to nicotine replacement patches and stop smoking medications, there are strategies you can use to help you become tobacco-free. One strategy is to join a smoking cessation class, which can provide accountability and support for those trying to quit. Cessation classes are offered at Carson City Health and Human Services by Tobacco Control Specialist Cindy Hannah. “One puff equals a pack, so don’t start,” says Hannah, who encourages people who don’t smoke to remain tobacco-free, and supports current smokers on their journey to quit. To learn more about quitting or to sign up for a class, call 775-283-7520.To learn more about our clinic and other health department services, check us out on the Web at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cchhs . Carson City Health and Human Services900 E. Long St.,Carson City.Call 775-887-2195.Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday; call for appointment.Well-child visits: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mondays.Men’s clinic: 4-6 p.m. Mondays.Immunization Day: 8:30-11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m. Thursdays.Douglas CountyCommunity Health1538 Highway 395 North (Corner of Spruce Street and Cemetery Lane).Call 775-782-9038.Clinic hours: 8:30 a.m. - noon Monday; 8:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.Monday is Immunization Day: No appointment needed, 1-4:30 p.m.