To puff or not to puff.
That’s the question many smokers are faced with today during the Great American Smoke Out, a day designated to help smokers to kick the habit — if not for good — for at least a day.
Since 1977, the American Cancer Society has staged the event on one day in November.
Some ex-smokers no longer have the crave and the Great American Smoke Out will be easy for them, while others will no doubt battle the instinctive urge to inhale.
“I’m an ex-smoker and I haven’t smoked in 26 1/2 years,” Roosevelt County General Hospital Administrator James D’Agostino said. “Every smoker considers quitting, but not everybody does it.”
The inspiration for D’Agostino kicking the smoking habit was his daughter Kara.
“My wife was 8 1/2 months pregnant with her when she said, ‘Are we going to bring this girl into a smoke-filled household?’” D’Agostino said. “I haven’t smoked since. She said the right words. I consider myself to be very blessed.”
Activities the society encourages during the day include: adopting a quitter (to help them stay off cigarettes, of course), planning a health fair and discouraging smoking at school events. Brochures and pamphlets on quitting are available from the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.
Linda Teakell, coordinator of the Tobacco Usage Prevention Control program of the New Mexico Department of Health, said members of Students Concerned About Tobacco (SCAT), an anti-smoking youth group, have handed out “Great American Smokeout” brochures for the last week.
From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. today, SCAT members David Limner, Gabriel Bryant, Bradley Caslon and Daniel Scully will help the Grim Reaper advertise the dangers of smoking on the corner of 21st and Prince streets in Clovis. One of the students will portray the Reaper and two others will hand out anti-smoking literature, Teakell said.