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The Great American Smokeout Hits Hawaii Encouraging Smokers To Quit!

HONOLULU, Nov. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Several community organizations throughout the islands are celebrating the American Cancer Society's 38 th annual Great American Smokeout with events in November to encourage smokers to quit smoking for good.  Held on November 21, 2013, the Great American Smokeout is an annual nationwide event created to encourage smokers to set a quit date for smoking.

For the first time ever in Hawaii, people who want to quit smoking during the Great American Smokeout will have the opportunity to quit through a new web-based program.  By enrolling at www.ClearTheSmoke.org, smokers can receive free help – including free nicotine replacement patches or gum – through the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline's new "Online Coaching" program.  

As always, smokers can get free coaching and personalized help by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and enrolling in the phone-based quit program.  Free patches or free gum, free coaching and free customized quit plans are still part of the package.

Whether you choose to quit online or via phone, the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline is available 24/7 to all adult tobacco users that want to quit smoking, regardless of insurance.

"It's great that Hawaii now offers two different ways for smokers to get help quitting. We think this will be particularly appealing for people who have tried to quit in the past but haven't been able to quit for good," said Pedro Haro, Spokesperson for the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline.  "The Great American Smokeout is the perfect opportunity for smokers who have tried to quit in the past to give it another chance."

Every year since 1977, the American Cancer Society has sponsored the Great American Smokeout nation-wide on the third Thursday of November to help smokers quit cigarettes for at least one day, in hopes they will quit forever.  This year the events will be held on Thursday, November 21 st in several locations around the state, including:

Oahu:The University of Hawaii at Manoa Health Services is hosting the annual  Great American Smokeout fair. The festivities will be held on Thursday, November 21st, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus Center Ballroom. The Great American Smokeout provides an interactive atmosphere for sharing and learning about alternatives to tobacco use through healthy lifestyle choices.

There will also be two screenings of the documentary film "Addiction Incorporated".  The movie tells the true story of the Tobacco Companies' commitment to addicting the human brain and how the world came to know about it.  Free movie! Free popcorn! This will be at the UH – Manoa Student Services Building, Room 412, noon and 7pm showings.  For more information, contact beth@tobaccofreehawaii.org

This event spotlighting the Great American Smokeout comes at an excellent time for the University of Hawaii at Manoa, which recently approved a policy to become a 100% smokefree campus.  Beginning January 1 st, 2014 students, staff, workers, visitors and everyone else will have to be completely off university property to use any type of tobacco product.  The ban includes cigars, cigarettes and e-cigarettes – and it also extends to dorms and inside cars that are on campus.

This new policy has faculty support and was student led from the beginning.  The school plans to make educational opportunities and resources available for those who would like to quit smoking.  School officials have been quoted as saying, "We are trying to create a healthier campus with a policy that will apply to everyone."

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