Celebrating 10 years of Clean Air & the Great American Smoke-Out

10yearwidgetLooking for something to celebrate? On Thursday, November 17, 2016, join the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and many other health organizations in celebrating two great events:  The Great American Smoke-Out (a day where people across the country quit smoking for 24 hrs), and the 10th Anniversary of Hawaii’s Clean Indoor Air law.  Rally your workplaces and encourage staff and patrons to celebrate living smoke-free for at least one day!

You can celebrate by doing any of the following fun, simple activities or adding your own creative spin to the day:

  • Post a flier or widget on your social media, or place hard copies in your window displays, ads, announcements, bulletin boards, etc. Contact tamashiro@doh.hawaii.gov for more information.
  • Provide “healthy” discounts or coupons for future visits to any customers who are trying to quit smoking for a day
  • Provide fun incentives to employees who quit smoking for the day (e.g. getting 2 hours off their shift the next day, a free meal for their families, a special dessert, employee of the day award, bottle of wine, movie tickets, gift baskets, etc.)
  • Do something creative and let us know!

What is the Great American Smoke-Out?

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout event. They may use the date to make a plan to quit, or they may plan in advance and quit smoking that day. For 46 years, the  Great American Smokeout event  has challenged people to stop using tobacco and helps people learn about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay quit.  Research shows that smokers who have support are more likely to quit for good.

What is the 10th Anniversary of the Clean Indoor Air Law?

Ten years ago on November 16, 2006, Hawaii became the 14th state in the nation to adopt a comprehensive law that prohibited smoking in all workplaces, bars, restaurants, and places open to the public.  Smoke-free laws not only protect smokers and non-smokers from secondhand smoke, but it makes it easier for people who want to quit smoking, and it also discourages youth from ever starting.

Today, while people in Hawaii enjoy clean air, only about half the states in our nation have similar laws.  Celebrate clean air today by participating in any of the fun ideas above!

Thanks to our strong public policies, Hawaii has the 3rd lowest smoking rate in the nation, next to California (2nd) and Utah (1st).  At the same time, many of our friends, coworkers, and family members still wrestle with the habit.  Studies say that approximately 70% of people who smoke want to quit.  Encourage those you care about who smoke to quit for a day…or for a lifetime! It’ll be fun and worthwhile.

For more information, ideas, and ways to celebrate with us, contact me at jill.tamashiro@doh.hawaii.gov or 808-586-1431

For information on quitting smoking visit the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or visit www.hawaiiquitline.org

Mahalo for making Hawaii a great, clean, smoke-free place to eat!


Jill Tamashiro

Tobacco Prevention and Education Program

Hawai`i State Department of Health


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