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Now is the time for smokers to drop habit

Published 7:58am Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The American Cancer Society will celebrate the 36th Great American Smokeout on Nov. 17. For millions of American smokers, there’s never been a better time to make a plan to quit.

As a former smoker, cancer survivor, and cancer advocate, I’ve learned that living a healthy life means first and foremost living smoke-free. This is a message I now share with others struggling to quit this deadly habit.

Tobacco use should be addressed through a comprehensive approach including 1) raising the price of tobacco products, 2) implementing 100 percent smoke free policies and 3) fully funding and sustaining evidenced-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

States with comprehensive tobacco control programs experience faster declines in cigarette sales, smoking prevalence, and lung cancer incidence and mortality than states that do not invest in these programs.

I urge Johnny Mack Morrow to support this comprehensive approach to combat tobacco use across our state.

Belinda Johnson, Russellville

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