Great American Smokeout Kicks Off
by Joel Young, Meteorologist/Reporter
November 14, 2012 5:19 PM
Each year, cigarette smoking causes 450,000 pre-mature deaths across the country, and about 450 of those are right here in South Dakota.
Wednesday morning, Mayor Mike Huether of Sioux Falls, along with the American Cancer Society, kicked off an event to encourage smokers to kick the habit.
“If you smoke, it is going to kill you,” says Huether.
That’s the message he so passionately wanted people to understand at today’s kick off for the Great American Smokeout.
It’s the 37th year for the event, and it’s one that, for him, hits close to home.
“I hate smoking. It killed my dad, and it’s going to kill you, too,” says Huether.
In an effort to create a healthier Sioux Falls, he encouraged smokers to step forward and drop their pack of cigarettes into a trash can.
After the first one stepped forward, others followed—one by one kicked the habit for good.
“I decided to quit for so many reasons: First of all, I’m an athlete. It’s very expensive. My girlfriend doesn’t like it, and on top of everything; I want to live well,” says Mouhamad Ndaiye.
Hopefully by quitting, it will create a brighter future for this international exchange student who is leading many others in an effort to put an end to a habit that not only increases their risk of health problems, but drains their bank account, as well.
“The American Cancer Society has a lot of resources on their website, but also; they have tools to help you quit,” says Ndaiye.
That’s something that can start with this Great American Smokeout, bringing together those who want to quit smoking with other quitters.
November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month.