Great American Smokeout says adopt a buddy

Buddy with someone, adopt a smoker and encourage them to stop smoking today for the Great American Smokeout.

Alongside a jar of tar - the amount of tar a smoker that collects in the lungs in one year - and grisly images of smoke-damaged lungs, the highlight of Carson High School's smokeout is the buddy program.

Non-smoking students can sign a pledge and adopt a smoker.

The adopter will buddy with a smoker, who might need some moral support for 24-hours of abstinence.

Smokers who sign a pledge agreeing to quit for 24 hours receive a survival kit including gum and gadgets to help distract them.

The team members will attend regular classes and buddy up during the morning break and lunch, said Carol Park, an American Cancer Society volunteer, who will be at Carson High School today.

A day of abstinence as a prelude to quitting comes at a good time.

Teen smoking is at its highest level in 16 years, according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that between 1991 and 1995, smoking among high school students increased from one-quarter to one-third nationwide.

Today, close to 40 percent of white high-school females smoke and 44 percent of white high school males either smoke or chew tobacco, the center reports.

The Smokeout sponsored by the American Cancer Society started in 1977.

More smokers pledge to quit smoking on the third Thursday in November than on any other day including New Year's Day and the number increases annually.

When considering to quit, the cancer society suggests that smokers ask three questions: Are you ready to quit? What method will you use to quit smoking? And how will you stay smoke free?

For information on the Great American Smokeout contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or on the Internet at


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