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North Dakotans who are ready to quit tobacco are invited to take advantage of an upcoming American Cancer Society event that has helped Americans go tobacco-free for forty years. The Great American Smokeout, a national day of activism, is set for Thursday, November 16. Smokers are being encouraged to make a plan now to quit on that day. The Great American Smokeout draws attention to the leading cause of preventable death and disease in North Dakota, and to the wealth of resources available to help smokers quit.Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health recognizes the most effective way to quit smoking is to make a quit plan. Our office assists those wanting to quit tobacco by providing educational materials and tobacco cessation resources. In addition, the statewide tobacco cessation program, NDQuits, offers free support and coaching.A quit plan may include setting a quit date, listing reasons to quit, identifying smoking triggers, building a strong support system.“The Great American Smokeout is a step towards making our community healthier, as we highlight the many resources available to help smokers quit,” said Jordyn Schaefbauer. “Reducing our state’s smoking rates also reduces secondhand smoke and the medical costs associated with tobacco-related illnesses.”North Dakota’s smoking rate, at 19.8%, is higher than the current national average of 15.1%, according to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. The impact of this public health crisis is felt by thousands of loved ones affected by smoking-related illnesses, and the 1,000 North Dakotans who die every year because of them.Tobacco users can get help enrolling in NDQuits with assistance from Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health, or by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). TDD users can call toll-free at 1-800-842-4681. Enrollment in NDQuits is also possible online at www.ndquits.health.nd.gov.To learn about the Great American Smokeout events taking place in your community, contact Bismarck- Burleigh Public Health at 701-355.1595.