From left: Upshur County Commissioner Sam Nolte, Tobacco Prevention Coalition member Amanda Hayes, Family Resource Network director Lori Uldrich Harvey and Commissioner Kristie Tenney.
From left: Upshur County Commissioner Sam Nolte, Tobacco Prevention Coalition member Amanda Hayes, Family Resource Network director Lori Ulderich Harvey and Commissioner Kristie Tenney.

Upshur County kicks off Quit Cold Turkey contest for people who pledge to stop using tobacco products

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Tobacco Prevention Coalition recently kicked off their ‘Quit Cold Turkey’ contest.

Amanda Hayes, a member of the Tobacco Prevention Coalition, attended the Upshur County Commission meeting Thursday as commissioners proclaimed Nov. 18, 2021, as the Great American Smokeout.

“This month we are doing a ‘Quit Cold Turkey’ contest,” Hayes said. “If you go on the Upshur County Family Resource Network Facebook page, you’ll see a post about the Great American Smokeout, which is Thursday, Nov. 18. If you want to comment on the post before Sunday, Nov. 14, all you have to do is answer the question, ‘How many days do you pledge to quit?’ It could be one day or more — or tell us how long it’s been since you’ve quit tobacco products. Even if you’ve never used tobacco products, that all counts as an entry, and the winner will receive a turkey in time for Thanksgiving.”

The proclamation read:

The American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year, challenging smokers to give up cigarettes for 24 hours. If you or a loved one smoke cigarettes, consider joining the movement and take the first step towards quitting cigarettes.

In our state, a pack of cigarettes cost approximately $6.62 Plus tax, so if you multiply that by one pack a day, the monthly cost is over $200. To take that to a yearly cost is roughly $2,400. If you quit, you could take your family on a week-long vacation or afford your monthly utility payments. Even if you only quit for four months you can purchase a laptop and internet service.

E-cigarette use or vaping among adults and youth is an epidemic in West Virginia. Vaping use rates are rising faster in West Virginia, than rates across the nation. More than one in three or 35.7 percent of West Virginia high school students report current use of E-cigarettes. This is a 150 percent increase from 2017 to 2019 alone. The high school tobacco use rate is 40.6 percent.

Studies show that second and third hand smoke also poses health risks. Secondhand smoke can increase lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent. Smoke from the end of a cigarette has a higher concentration of the cancer-causing chemicals than smoke exhaled by the smoker. The U.S. EPA says secondhand smoke is among the most dangerous substances known to cause cancer. thirdhand smoke refers to the toxins from cigarette smoke that stick to soft surfaces. Thirdhand smoke not only affects adults but also babies, children and even pets.

Now therefore, be it proclaimed that the Upshur County commission hereby recognizes and supports the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on Nov. 18 2021, in Upshur, county and encourages all citizens who smoke use tobacco or dip tobacco and vape or other devices to ingest nicotine to demonstrate to themselves and to their children that they can quit by joining the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.

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