Time to Quit: Today Is Yearly Smokeout

by Staff

By Raven TysonAssistant City Editor

Every year on Nov. 15, approximately 1 million Californiansattempt to quit smoking cigarettes.

At the national level, nearly 17 million smokers try to quit. Ofthose, four million remain smoke-free after three months ofabstinence.

Today is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout,created 25 years ago as an annual day to spotlight the dangers ofsmoking and challenge people to stop.

As part of the Smokeout, the campus organization Students TakingAction Regarding Tobacco will have a table set up from 10 a.m. to 1p.m. today on Centennial Walkway, said JB Flinders, START presidentand Student Health Advisory Board secretary.

START is handing out informational pamphlets, T-shirts, waterbottles and keychains to those who stop by the table. People may alsodonate money to the American Cancer Society.

“Our goal is to keep as many people from smoking as we can,”Flinders said. “More so, we’re trying to pass legislation to makeschools smoke-free.”

Local businesses are also getting involved by holding specialpromotions to encourage people to quit smoking cigarettes.

As an incentive, the Brigantine Restaurant Corporation is offeringsmokers a cold turkey sandwich and a coupon for a free appetizer fromapproximately 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today in exchange for their pack ofcigarettes and a pledge to not smoke for the day. The offer is goodat the Del Mar and Point Loma Brigantine Seafood Restaurants and AzulLa Jolla.

“We want to do our part to help promote a healthy lifestyle forSan Diegans,” Mike Morton, president of the Brigantine RestaurantCorporation, said in a press release.

“We support the American Cancer Society’s efforts to promotepublic awareness by targeting young people and encouraging them totake their first step toward a smoke-free lifestyle during the GreatAmerican Smokeout by offering this little incentive.”

In addition to free food, smokers can also obtain discounted lungand heart scanning.

LifeScore, a San Diego healthcare company, uses an Electron BeamTomography (EBT) scanner to detect a patient’s risk of life-alteringor threatening diseases.

According to the LifeScore Web site, the EBT scanner is thefastest scanner of this sort in the world. In 100 milliseconds, itcaptures a slice of high resolution information. Because of its speedand design, radiation exposure is minimized.

LifeScore has a procedure — LungScore — which allows patients tofind out if they are at risk of lung cancer, heart disease or strokeas a result of cigarette smoking.

LifeScore is offering patients a five percent discount on theirscan for the month of November. The total cost on heart and lungscans is about $800. In addition, LifeScore is donating $50 from eachscan it performs during November to the American Heart Association.

For more information on The Brigantine’s Cold Turkey event, visitthe Web site at www.brigantine.com and click on promotions.

For more information about LifeScore and its body scans, visit theWeb site at www.lifescore.com.