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‘Great American Smokeout’ Thursday – No Matches Required

November 14, 2007

Rapid City, SD – South Dakotans who are ready to kick the tobacco habit can join millions of others nationwide tomorrow during the annual "Great American Smokeout." Statistics from the American Cancer Societyshow almost 500 South Dakotans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and 420 will die from it. Rapid City physician Dr. Kevin Weiland says tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death and that help is available for anyone who wants to quit.

"There is a new drug out called Chantex, which I believe is the antidote to nicotine. I'm an advocate for this drug because it rejuvenated my spirit to get people to quit. The drug basically takes over that receptor side in the brain where nicotine works and people can successfully quit when they take this drug. Is that the magic bullet? No, it's willpower -- you have to want to quit."

Jennifer Stalley with the South Dakota Tobacco-Free Kids Network explains other tools are also available.

"There's also some nicotine replacement therapies available through the Quitline, both the patches and the gum, and a lot of help out there is free, through the Department of Health. You can also log onto the American Cancer Society Web site and find resources, both for the smoker who wants to quit and support ideas for family and friends who want to help."

Stalley is hopeful the "Great American Smokeout" will be a starting point for some people to quit -- first for a day, and then for a lifetime. She encourages South Dakota smokers to call the state's free Quitline, 1-800-S-D-QUITS. The American Cancer Society sponsors the annual event, and expects abouot one-third of the nation's 46 million smokers to take the day off from smoking on Thursday. More information about the "Great American Smokeout" is available online, at www.cancer.org.

David Law/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - SD