If cigarette smokers in the office are a little grouchy today, perhaps it’s because they’re trying to kick the killer habit. This marks the 25th annual Great American Smokeout. Roger Swafford of the American Cancer Society’s Mason City office says they’re out to “denormalize” smoking so it doesn’t seem natural to smokers and non-smokers.Swafford encourages smokers to give it up — just for today — and he says if they can make it one day, maybe it’s something they can do on a permanent basis. He says there have been many advances in recent years that can make the process less painful — from patches to nicotine gums.Every day three thousand children nationwide under 18 start smoking. 90-percent of adults who smoke took their first puff at or before age 18. Non-smokers can also play an important role in today’s Smokeout. Swafford says they can help smokers overcome their obstacles with little favors, such as giving out gum, candy and positive encouragement.Thanks to medical advances in whipping cigarette smoking, Swafford says a smoker’s chances of quitting today are twice what they were 25 years ago. For more information, surf to “www.cancer.org” or call 800-ACS-2345.
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