The Great American Smoke Out (GASO) is celebrated every year on the 3rd Thursday of November. GASO is a day where all Americans are urged to stop using tobacco or to support and encourage a friend or loved one to stop smoking. It is the Council on Chemical Abuse’s (COCA) hope that on celebrated days like these, individuals using tobacco will become aware of the many support methods available to help them quit for the day and hopefully quit for good.
In recognition of this day, COCA has reached out to community members and educated many individuals of the dangers of smoking, while also encouraging them to make a quit plan.
In October 2014, COCA visited the Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex for the 2014 Senior Expo, held on October 28th. During this time participants were provided ‘Quit Kits’ for their use on the Great American Smoke Out and were also encouraged to participate in upcoming tobacco cessation classes, held across the county.
Leading up to GASO 2014 residents of Reading Elderly Housing and the Reading Housing Authority were visited by COCA staff at various locations, including Franklin Towers, Eisenhower Apartments, and Glenside Homes. During the visits the residents discussed the potential pending policy change to a smoke-free environment, the dangers of second-hand smoke, and the benefits of a smoke-free environment. Residents were also encouraged to join one of the ongoing smoking cessation classes. COCA also partnered with Alvernia University’s Health and Wellness Department to provide information to faculty, staff and students regarding the harmful effects of tobacco. Table tents with facts about tobacco and flyers were distributed around campus on the day of the Great American Smoke Out. Quit kits were also provided by the University.