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Smokers Urged to Take Steps Toward Healthier Lives As Part of the Great American Smokeout

In honor of the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout, the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) is reminding all Rhode Islanders about the dangers of tobacco use and the importance of quitting smoking. The observance falls on the third Thursday of November each year and encourages smokers to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking on that day.

Flu vaccination is another important step that smokers and people who are trying to quit smoking can take toward healthier lives. Because smoking weakens the body's ability to fight off the flu, smokers may be more at risk of catching the flu. People with conditions related to smoking, such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes, are also more susceptible to serious complications from the flu.

"By quitting smoking and getting your flu shot, you are ensuring that you will have a healthier year and a healthier life," said Director of Health Michael Fine, MD. "You are also protecting the people you love. Vaccination against the flu will prevent you from spreading the virus to family and friends. When you stop smoking, you stop exposing those around you to the toxic effects of second-hand smoke."

Resources to help Rhode Islanders quit smoking can be found at www.quitnowri.com

More information about the Great American Smokeout can be found at: www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout

For information about the flu vaccine and to find out where to be vaccinated, call the Health Information Line: 401-222-5960 / RI Relay 711

Related links

Department or agency: Department of Health

Online: http://www.health.ri.gov

Release date: 11-21-2013

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