Editor, Times-Union:

Thursday, November 17th is the Great American Smokeout, a day set aside by the American Cancer Society to encourage smokers to give up tobacco, for at least one day, and to think about quitting for good.

These days, most people have a pretty good understanding of the harms caused by cigarette smoking, but about 1 in 5 Indiana adults still smoke. People who use tobacco have a high risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and many other types of cancer. Smoking also increases the damage of chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma and can increase the risk of strokes.

We can support Hoosier smokers attempting to quit by encouraging participation in the Great American Smoke Out on November 17th, and through free resources such as the Indiana Tobacco Quitline. Indiana residents ages 13 and over can contact the Quitline at 1-800-Quit-Now or www.QuitNowIndiana.com. They can provide free NRT (nicotine patches and lozenges) and connect you with your own expert quit coach.

Here are three things you can do to observe GASO according to National Today:

1. Make a plan. Learn about options to curb cravings and have your support team ready. If you are helping someone else quit check out smokefree.gov for tips.

2. Get rid of anything smoking related. Also, consider stocking up on substitutes like gum, mints, and crunchy snacks.

3. Reflect on your smoking past. If you’ve tried quitting before, GASO is a good time to reflect back. Remind yourself what worked and what didn’t.

Breathe Well Coalition of Kosciusko