Get Healthy: Great American Smokeout comes to Carson City |

Get Healthy: Great American Smokeout comes to Carson City

Cortney Bloomer
Carson City Health and Human Services

This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.

On Thursday, millions of Americans across the country will “butt out” as part of the Great American Smokeout. This year is the 36th annual observance of the event, which encourages Americans to say “no” to tobacco use. The idea behind the Great American Smokeout, which is sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is to encourage current smokers to quit just for the day in hopes that they will be inspired to give up tobacco permanently.

According to a recent publication by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly two out of three smokers want to quit, and more than half of current adult smokers have tried to quit within the past year.

In conjunction with the Great American Smokeout, Carson City Health and Human Services’ tobacco cessation counselor, Cindy Hannah, will be offering a drop-in Tobacco Cessation Support Group from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday. The support group is available to those who have already quit and need help sticking to their commitment, or to anyone who wants to quit and needs extra encouragement, resources and support. The support group is free and will be ongoing on the third Thursday of each month.

In the current economy, the cost of smoking is an important motivator to quit. The American Lung Association conducted a study on smoking cessation, and what they found was that the cost of cigarettes alone will set a pack-a-day smoker back almost $2,000 per year – that’s a lot of money for many families. Factor in the higher-than-average health care costs, lost productivity, and premature death that a smoker will accrue throughout their life, and suddenly that number jumps to $18 per pack of cigarettes. Non-smokers don’t have to pay those costs.

Smoking is an important risk factor for cancer, heart disease and other negative health effects. Quitting is the most important behavioral change a smoker can make to improve his or her health. When a person quits smoking, health benefits begin almost immediately. After only 20 minutes, your heart rate drops to normal, and in a day, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal as well. Within weeks, your lung function will begin to improve and your risk of a heart attack will drop. The longer you stay tobacco-free, the more you will experience these benefits. Quitting smoking can help you live longer and improve the quality of your life.

For information about other Health Department services, check out our website at or visit us at


Carson City Health and Human Services

900 East Long St., Carson City


Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday; call for appointment.

Well-child visits: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays.

Men’s clinic: 4-6 p.m. Mondays; call for appointment.

Immunization day: 8:30-11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m. Thursdays; no appointment needed.