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Local Interest

Smokers Encouraged To Kick The Habit

Debbie Heitholt.jpg
Sharonda Drake

Around this time of year, the American Cancer Society aims to get smokers across the US to participate in what is known as Great American Smokeout day.  It is a day in which smokers make the decision to quit, or use this day to make a plan to stop smoking for good.  The American Cancer Society has support all over the nation, especially in the Northeast Texas region.

Debby Heitholt, Clinical BSN with Student Health Services of Texas A&M University -Commerce, raises awareness around the campus and city of Commerce by challenging smokers to try quitting just for that day, or use that day as a Quit Date.   Heitholt expressed her frustration with tobacco companies by mentioning the target consumers, such as minorities, the financially unstable, and kids younger than 18.  “My dad was one of these people, he started when he was young and in the army… and then he quit when he was about 50 years old and unfortunately he didn’t quit soon enough, when he was in his 70’s he died from bladder cancer” says Heitholt.

Heitholt, a big advocate of health information and awareness, conducts a Smoking Cessation Support Group that meets every first and third Thursday of the month in the Business Administration building of A&M-Commerce. 

Thursday, November 15th marks the 37th year of Great American Smokeout.  The national event is held on the third Thursday of each November. More information is available at the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout website.  Relay for Life is also hosting a separate event called “I Love Quitters,” offering smoked food to participants from Noon to 4:00 pm at the A&M-Commerce Amphitheater.