Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, but even though it causes over 430,000 deaths per year and incurs more than $89 billion in medical costs, people still cannot put down their cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco. According to the Suffolk Country Government webpage, each year, smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, murders, suicides and fires combined. Besides being dangerous for smokers, smoking is dangerous for their significant others, friends, and children, because anyone who is around them while they smoke is susceptible to the dangers of tobacco through secondhand smoke, which is always dangerous. This Saturday, May 31, is World No Tobacco Day, and the World Health Organization (WHO) is asking smokers to become more educated and to kick the habit. WHO is also calling on the governments of multiple countries to increase the taxes on tobacco to decrease tobacco purchases and hopefully decrease the amount of smokers worldwide. This week, be part of World No Tobacco Day in a small way and go to a smoking cessation class, or urged any loved ones who smoke to attend a class and finally kick the habit. Here are some classes offered across Long Island:
The Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island lists the cessation classes at the following hospitals:
- Long Beach Medical Center, Long Beach: No cost
- Mercy Medical Center, Rockville Center: Fee
- Nassau County DOH: No cost
- North Shore LIJ, Great Neck: No cost
- St. Francis Hospital – Dematteis Center, Old Brookville: Fee
- Suffolk County DHS, multiple locations: No cost
- Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola: Fee
For those who are really serious about quitting, North Shore LIJ boasts one of the highest success rates of quitters in the country.
Nicotine Anonymous also offers a free 12-step program for smokers trying to quit, and all are welcome. Here are where the support groups meet:
- Huntington Hospital, Huntington: Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
- St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Islip: Thursdays at 7 p.m.
- Center for Tobacco Control, Manhasset: Mondays at 6:45 p.m.
- North Bellmore Public Library, North Bellmore: Saturdays at 11:30 a.m.
- First Methodist Church, Oceanside: Mondays at 8 p.m.
- St. Francis de Chantal Church, Wantagh: Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
- Westhampton Presbyterian Church, Westhampton Beach: Wednesdays at 6 p.m.
Remember this summer that all New York State beaches on Long Island are smoke-free!