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Go cold turkey for a turkey

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Dr. Rachell Jaworski, 21st Medical Group Pharmacy Care Clinic, meets with a patient to discuss options on quitting tobacco use Nov. 14, 2014. The resources Jaworski provides is one of several available to military, family members and Department of Defense civilians wanting to quit tobacco. Other resources include tobacco cessation classes, online education, counseling and coaching. The Health and Wellness Center is sponsoring the Great American Smokeout Nov. 20. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Dr. Rachell Jaworski, 21st Medical Group Pharmacy Care Clinic, meets with a patient to discuss options on quitting tobacco use Nov. 14, 2014. The resources Jaworski provides is one of several available to military, family members and Department of Defense civilians wanting to quit tobacco. Other resources include tobacco cessation classes, online education, counseling and coaching. The Health and Wellness Center is sponsoring the Great American Smokeout Nov. 20. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Want to ditch the ashtray? Tired of standing in the cold to satisfy an unhealthy habit? What about some extra pennies in the bank account? Yes? Kick tobacco to the curb!

The Health and Wellness Center is sponsoring the Great American Smokeout Nov. 20. Anyone can sign up the Fitness Center or the HAWC to be a sponsor to someone who is quitting or be the one to quit for the day. All participants in the event will receive a free lunch and be entered to win a free turkey. Go "cold turkey" for the day and possibly win a turkey, or sponsor someone to go "cold turkey" for the day and also have the chance to win a turkey, just in time for the holidays.

The Smokeout is a nationwide event to prompt smokers to quit tobacco use. To quit for just one day is an important step towards living a healthier life. This doesn't just include cigarettes, it also includes chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.

The HAWC also offers tobacco cessation classes. Using American Cancer Society and American Lung Association curriculums, the program includes classroom, online education, counseling, medications and coaching.

"In one visit, the patient gets screening, cessation counseling, and medication options," said E. Lindsay Buckalew, Health Promotion flight commander. "The patient then walks out with the medication in hand, which is the really cool thing."

The cessation classes and medications are free to military members, family members and Department of Defense civilians, through TRICARE, and is a free way to quit an unhealthy habit and begin a healthier lifestyle. The state of Colorado also offers resources available to quit and they are free as long as your health plan covers it.

"In October 2012, there were 625 tobacco users on Peterson Air Force Base, or 16.7 percent prevalence rate," said Buckalew. "As of this month, there are 396 tobacco users, with a 10.9 percent prevalence rate."

For more information on the Great American Smokeout or the cessation classes call Buckalew at the HAWC at 556-4292, option 1 or email edward.buckalew@us.af.mil. Other resources are 800-QUIT-NOW or www.COquitline.org.

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