KCHD joins the American Cancer Society in urging the community to quit smoking   


he Knox County Health Department (KCHD) joins the American Cancer Society (ACS) in celebrating The Great American Smokeout on Thursday, Nov. 18, by encouraging smokers to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives.


ACS has been hosting the annual event for more than 40 years. Interestingly, the first Smokeout grew from a 1970 event in Randolph, Massachusetts, at which Arthur P. Mullaney asked people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money they would have spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund.


Today, nearly 40 million adults still smoke cigarettes despite tobacco use being the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S. Sadly, the CDC reports that one in 14 women who gave birth in the United States in 2016 reported smoking during pregnancy and almost 4.7 million middle and high school students use at least one tobacco product (e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco included).


Through the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program, KCHD seeks to reduce the number of children who use tobacco, educate families about the impact second- and third-hand smoke exposure has on infants and kids, and support smoking cessation for pregnant women.


If you are pregnant and want to stop using tobacco products, KCHD offers a program called BABY & ME – Tobacco Free™. Successful participation in the program offers an opportunity to earn free diaper vouchers and baby wipes. For additional information, visit KCHD’s Tobacco Prevention webpage or call 865-215-5170.


KCHD encourages those who are ready to quit smoking to call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800- QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669), the 24/7 ACS hotline at 1-800-227-2345, visit tnquitline.com to learn more or seek out cessation apps online.