DOD promotes health, smoking cessation

Marine Corps Community Services plans to support the Great American Cancer Society’s 37th American Smokeout at Camp Hansen on November 15.

The American Cancer Society recommends that smokers use the day to relax and make a plan to quit smoking.

By quitting tobacco use, even for one day, smokers are taking an important step to a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of developing cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

“We promote this event each year at Camp Hansen,” said Gregory N. Hammond, a health director with MCCS. “We choose Hansen, because it has the highest population of single Marines, so that we can reach more people in our audience.”

Until November 15, MCCS is posting fliers around the camp to encourage Marines and sailors to participate in the smokeout, according to Hammond.

“The goal is to get smokers to quit for one day,” said Kimberly D. Beard, the health promotion program manager for MCCS. “We hope that stop smoking for one day will make them think about quitting for good.”

On the day of the smoke, MCCS will in densely populated areas and hand out brochures with information about the negative consequences of tobacco use, according to Hammond.

“We also bring displays that show the mouth after many years of smoking, use of smokeless tobacco, the resin that looks inside your body and arteries that hardened due to tobacco use,” said Hammond.

Smoking is the largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. Although it is well-known and publicized fact, 45 million Americans smoke.

Smokeout promotes not only the Marines, but the whole of the Ministry of Defense in an effort to better health and fitness for all U.S. military personnel.

“Tobacco is the largest to prevent health problems in the U.S. military,” said Beard. “We need our soldiers, as healthy and as fit as possible, so it is important that every effort we can to help them stop smoking.”

The Ministry of Defense has supported Great American Smokeout from the start, according to the beard. This is the 37th event and DOD will continue to provide support in the hope of changing lives.

“There may not be a huge turnout every year, but if we can get some people to participate and those people tell their friends, and their number will go up,” said Beard. “If we get just one person to get out of this one day, that is one life; we could have saved and makes the whole program a success.”

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