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35th Annual Great American Smokeout Comes to Mississippi

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 17 Nov 2010 12:42pm | comments
Great American Smokeout Poster From The American Cancer Society

Thursday is the Great American Smokeout, a day when many Mississippians will stop lighting up. MPB's Jeffrey Hess that for each smoker who quits, the benefits multiply.

According to the state health department, smoking will cause 52-hundred early deaths this year in Mississippi and cost taxpayers more than 200-million for health treatment through medicaid.

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable cancer and Oncologist Doctor Ralph Vance warns that tobacco use can effect the whole body.

“Well there are 15 other cancers that can be caused by cigarette smoking. Nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, lip, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, uterine cancer, kidney, bladder stomach, and even leukemia,” Vance said.

The federal government is planning to put grotesque pictures on cigarette packages to make the dangers even more clear, especially to teens.

Among a group of smokers huddled outside a Jackson office building, Amanda Richards, who lost a family member to lung cancer, explained that she continues to smoke to relieve stress.

“My grand pa (died). I quit just before he died, that was his last request. Then a few years later I had to start back again. I didn't have to, but did,” Richards said.

Not far away in a hospice care center, 58 yr old Vanessa Pilihos is dying from lung cancer. she has a Great American Smoke out message.

“I don't like to be one of those ex-smokers preaching. But I sure do tell them that they sure are running a risk. They know they are going to have lung problems, that is going to be without a doubt. So anyone listening, these young ones, they better talk to someone who has got it an think it through. Because you will have lung problems later on in life, you will not be exempt,” Pilihos said.

She smoked to fit in and says if she could go back in time she never would have touched that first cigarette.

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Great American Smokeout Poster From The American Cancer Society


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