Time to stop smoking

The Brown County Board talked about banning e-cigarettes this week but decided to wait until someone actually determines whether they are a health risk to smokers and to others.

We realize there are lots of reasons to prefer e-cigarettes to the real thing, but e-cigarettes still deliver an addictive substance to their users, cost money and could encourage people to move on to real cigarettes. People would be better off if they just didn’t smoke.

Which leads us to the fact that tomorrow, Nov. 21, is the Great American Smokeout, the annual day when the American Lung Association and other anti-smoking groups encourage smokers to give up smoking for a day, at least, and more if possible.

This is an effort which has its roots in Minnesota when Lynn Smith, publisher and editor of the Monticello Times, declared the third Thursday of November as D-Day (Don’t Smoke Day). The effort went viral (at a time when there was no internet to go viral on) and became an annual, nationwide effort.

It gives people who want to quit smoking but who need a push or a starting date or whatever is needed to give it a try. It’s a day to say “Today’s the day. I’m quitting.”

There are a number of programs out there to help people deal with the challenges of quitting smoking. It is a hard addiction to break, one that remains legal, even if restricted to the outdoors in most places. Check out the American Lung Association or American Cancer Society web pages for links to helpful programs, or try www.quitplan.com, the site of Quitplan Services, which offers free help.

Quitting smoking will save smokers money, and will save lives as well. Take advantage of tomorrow and give it a try.