"Each year we bring our fifth graders to experience the Adventure Learning Center's alpine tower, giant swing, and team building exercises. They always come back energized, proud, and united! I believe it is one of the best field trips for kids! The staff is always positive, encouraging and totally dedicated to the kids. "

— 5th Grade Counselor, New Hanover County Schools

Please click here to see the original post by the CDC.

The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout is the perfect starting point.

If you’re a smoker, setting a date to quit can be an important step in protecting your health and the health of your loved ones. The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking on a specific day. This year, the 41st annual Great American Smokeout will be held on November 17 and will encourage the 36.5 million adults in the U.S. who smoke cigarettes to quit.

Many loved ones have probably urged you to quit smoking already, and you’ve probably wanted or tried to quit. We know that quitting can be hard, but don’t give up. Just as every successful goal starts with planning and preparation, so too does quitting. When you plan to quit smoking during the Great American Smokeout, you are celebrating this day with millions of other smokers across the nation who also want to quit. Join in by participating in social media conversations, chatting live with a counselor or calling a quitline, or teaming up with friends, family, or co-workers for encouragement. Smokers who have support are more likely to quit for good!

 Sign that read Finish Line Ahead and Hang in ThereSetting a quit date puts you one step closer to your goal of quitting smoking.

Five Ways to Get Ready to Quit Smoking

You’re taking an important step toward feeling better and creating a healthier life when you set out to quit smoking cigarettes. A good plan can help you get past symptoms of withdrawal. Take these five steps to improve your success:

  1. Set a quit date. Choose the Great American Smokeout or another quit day within the next 2 weeks.
  2. Tell your family and friends about your quit plan. Share your quit date with the important people in your life and ask for support. A daily phone call, e-mail, or text message can help you stay on course and provide moral support.
  3. Be prepared for challenges. The urge to smoke is short—usually only 3 to 5 minutes, but those moments can feel intense. Even one puff can feed a craving and make it stronger. Before your quit day, write down healthy ways to cope.
    • Drink water.
    • Exercise.
    • Listen to a favorite song or play a game.
    • Call or text a friend.
    • Get social support by joining @CDCTobaccoFree on Facebook and Twitter.
    • Sign up for SmokefreeTEXT for 24/7 help on your mobile phone.
  4. Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home, car, and workplace. Throw away your cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays. Clean and freshen your car, home, and workplace. Old cigarette odors can cause cravings.
  5. Talk to your pharmacist, doctor, or quitline coach about quit options. Nicotine patches, gum, or other approved quit medication can help with cravings.

In Focus: Smoking and Mental Health

You may already know that smoking causes immediate damage to your body and that it threatens your future with increased risks for cancer, heart attack, lung disease, and early death. But did you know that one group of people especially vulnerable to high rates of smoking are adults with mental distress* disorders and people with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression? More than 3 in every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.

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