Conrad and others celebrate Great American Smokeout

Conrad and others celebrate Great American Smokeout
CONRAD SKYLINE — Conrad’s answer to big city skyscrapers are our elevators, silhouetted against a marvelous morning sunrise earlier this week. I-O Photo by Barb Endler
   On Nov. 19, Conrad and other communities across Montana will celebrate the Great American Smokeout for the first time with full implementation of the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act.
   The law requires all enclosed public places and workplaces to be smokefree and businesses to prominently place smokefree signs on all public entrances.
   The law includes all restaurants, bars, private clubs, meeting rooms and any enclosed work place to be smokefree. A “workplace” means an enclosed place where one or more individuals are required to be as part of their job.
   “You can help save lives by complying with the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act. If you observe a violation you can report a violation online at or you can call the Pondera County Health Department (PCHD) at 271-3247,” says Christy, RN, a Tobacco Use Prevention Specialist with the  PCHD.
   The Great American Smokeout is an annual event promoted by the American Cancer Society that challenges people to stop using tobacco, if only for one day, she explained
   Health concerns usually top the list of reasons people give for quitting smoking or other forms of tobacco.
   Smoking and second hand smoke are risk factors for many types of cancer, among them are lung, cancer of the mouth, voice box (larynx), throat (pharynx), esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, stomach, and some leukemia’s.
   In addition smokers are twice as likely to die from heart attacks as are non-smokers. Smoking also causes an increased risk of macular degeneration, one of the most common causes of blindness in older people.
   In support of the Great American Smokeout Pondera Medical Center Wellness Center is challenging community members and PMC employees to go smokefree on Nov. 19.
   PMC will be promoting “PMC Kick the Tobacco Addiction Day,” encouraging employees as well as Wellness Center members to quit tobacco for the day or for a lifetime.
   Non-tobacco users can also show support for family, friends and coworkers on Nov. 19 by giving up something such as coffee, chocolate or soft drinks to show support to those trying to kick tobacco addiction.
   If you or someone you know needs help quitting smoking, please contact the Montana Tobacco Quit Line. The Montana Tobacco Quit Line, funded by the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MTUPP), offers free help to tobacco users who want to quit, including free cessation coaching, nicotine replacement therapy (gum, patches, or lozenges), and reduced-cost Chantix.
   Calls are toll-free at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).  Participants in the Quit Line program are 7 to 10 times more likely to quit than those who try quitting alone.
   Participating in the Great American Smokeout is a great way to encourage Montanans to start a life free from tobacco. “Support your family and friends that choose to quit for the day or for a life time,” Nelson said.
   The PMC Wellness Center together with the PCHD encourages everyone to choose a healthy lifestyle.