OCEAN COUNTY – Brian Lippai, Ocean County Health Department Public Information Officer, recalls how smoking has affected his life during this year’s Lung Cancer Awareness month.
“As a young child, I can remember begging my father to please stop smoking. With a gentle smile he would respond with his typical response, ‘Someday, Brian, someday.’ Unfortunately, he never did quit and my father died from lung cancer at age 69 after a lifelong habit of smoking cigarettes.
That’s why every November I look forward to my modest role as the Ocean County Health Department Public Information Officer and joining the army of anti-smoking crusaders that urge the 38 million smokers in the United States to quit!” stated Lippai.
The Ocean County Health Department is recognizing November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the week of November 15 as the American Cancer Association’s (ACA) Great American Smoke Out event.
Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, stated “Despite making great strides, there is still work to be done. The numbers tell us that smokers have decreased from 42% in 1965 to less than 15% in 2016. However, the American Cancer Society estimates about 154,000 deaths in 2018 from lung cancer. That’s still too many.”
Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death and the second most common cancer.
Daniel E. Regenye, Ocean County Health Department Public Health Officer reminds everyone about the dangers of secondhand smoke.
“It’s important to remind smokers that they aren’t only endangering their own lives but others as well. An alarming 73,000 people succumbed to cancer from secondhand smoke in the U.S between 2005 and 2009,” said Regenye.
Regenye advises smokers to seek support when quitting. “Beating nicotine addiction is a personal quest with a variety of resources available to offer guidance and support,” he added.
The Ocean County Health Department provides a list of tips by the American Lung Association to help smokers kick the habit:
- Eliminate triggers – Thoroughly clean your house and car, removing all smoking devices and reminders.
- Give it time – Try to make it 3 months.
- Understand that slip up are okay
- Break the habitual routine – Start healthy habits
- Keep trying – Every smoker can quit. It may take time or a lot of practice, but you do have the power to break the addiction.
For more information on lung cancer or the Great American Smoke Out please visit the Ocean County Health Department website at ochd.org or the new website at phu2.org, to access and learn more about Public Health is You Too! Campaign.