Today is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout which, despite sounding like a delicious barbecue, is actually about helping tobacco smokers quit by having them pledge to stop for just the one day.
Montana State University-Northern’s Student Health Services and Employee Wellness center is doing its part to help Northern students carry out pledges of their own.
The health center is holding an event at the Vande Bogart Library today, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At the event, students can hand over their packs of cigarettes or cans of smokeless tobacco and receive a free cold turkey sandwich and drink.
There will be activites and games with prizes during the event. Health Services will have a board where students, smokers and non-smokers alike, can post their thoughts on tobacco use in response to provided questions.
Jamie Smith, the director of Student Health Services and Employee Wellness at MSU-N, said that the school is doing a lot more this year than in the past because it’s such an important message for Northern students, and Montanans as a whole, to hear.
“More Montanans die from smoking than any other preventable causes, 1,400 people every year,” Smith said. “It kills more people than alcohol abuse, car accidents, drugs and HIV combined.”
The Great American Smokeout was started almost 40 years ago, as a fundraiser for a school in Massachusetts, and has since become an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
The Smokeout is always on the third Thursday of November.