Several Bennington County organizations have joined to promote the Great American Smokeout on Thursday, Nov. 19. They are encouraging tobacco smokers and vape users across the county and thousands across the United States to make a plan to stop using nicotine for the day.
The Alliance for Community Transformations (ACT), Vermont Department of Health-Bennington County District Office, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s Blueprint for Health Division, and The Collaborative have united to promote the national event. Together they engage community members to participate and encourage family members, friends and coworkers of tobacco and vape users to support someone who stops nicotine use for the day.
Dare Chammings, director of ACT Bennington, said she is encouraged by current data. “In 2019, 32 percent of Bennington County HS students reported vaping in the past 30 days and 9 percent reported using cigarettes. The bad news is vape use has risen, but the great news? Sixty-eight percent of students weren’t vaping, and 91 percent of students weren’t smoking cigarettes,” Chammings said. “Clearly, not ‘everyone is doing it’ and support is available for those that want to stop using nicotine products.”
Teens who are thinking about quitting vape and other nicotine products can check out mylifemyquit.org and truthinitiative.org for online resources and texts for support. 802Quits provides free online, website and phone support to vape, cigarette and nicotine users 13 years and older.
In recent years, the State of Vermont determined and promoted a behavioral health campaign suggesting Vermonters address three behaviors (smoking, physical inactivity and poor nutrition) which cause four diseases (diabetes, cancer, heart disease and lung disease), which result in more than 50 percent of deaths in Vermont. When individuals are able to alter one or more of these three behaviors, Vermont’s overall morbidity rate decreases.
Participating locations in Bennington County include: Community Food Cupboard, KNJ Motorsports, Mack Molding, Northshire Day School and ACT-Bennington (Alliance for Community Transformations).
Businesses, schools and organizations interested in participating in Great American Smokeout and supporting their employees, customers or clients are invited to contact Victoria Silsby of The Collaborative at firstname.lastname@example.org.