Great American Smokeout

Great American Smokeout History

Today is the Great American Smokeout.  This informal annual event encourages Americans to stop tobacco smoking for 24 hours, hoping the decision not to smoke will last forever.  

The Great American Smokeout is promoted by the American Cancer Society and is held on the third Thursday of November each year in an effort to reduce cases of preventable cancers, reduce secondhand smoke and improve the health of all Americans.  As everyone knows, smoking has been shown to cause a variety of cancers, most notably lung and mouth cancer. Lung cancer is currently the leading cause of Cancer death in the United States and the most preventable type of cancer worldwide.  

Great American Smokeout Facts & Quotes

  • The holiday began in 1970, when a man in Massachusetts asked people to give up smoking for one day, and donate the money saved to the local high school scholarship fund.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control, smoking is responsible for 1 in 3 cancer-related deaths, and 1 in 5 deaths from any cause.  Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year.
  • The Center for Disease Control states that life expectancy for smokers is 10 years less than that of non-smokers.
  • The Center for Disease Control states that a middle-aged man who smokes, triples his risk of dying from some type of heart disease.
  • More Doctors Smoke Camels than Any Other Cigarette - line used in 1949 commercial for Camel Cigarettes

If you are a smoker, 

  •  Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for support in quitting.  If you're in Plaquemines Parish, you can also call the Plaquemines Community CARE Centers Foundation, Inc. @ 504-393-5750.
  • Talk to someone you know who smokes and challenge them to quit for the day.
  • Chew sugarless gum as an alternative.  

Red Ribbon Week - Drug Free America


Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States.  It is the Nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program, reaching millions of Americans.  Red Ribbon Week is celebrated annually October 23-31.  By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events, young people pledge to live a drug-free lifestyle and pay tribute to DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.

Teens - Get the Facts About Drugs.

Parents, Educators, Caregivers - Get Smart About Drugs.

National Teen Driver Safety Week

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October 15-21, 2017 is National Teen Driver Safety Week, a week to raise awareness of the tremendous risks teens confront on the roads; to remind teens to think twice before driving distracted; to remind teens of highway safety laws; to encourage safe driving practices; and to help inform parents and friends of ways they can help their teens be safer drivers.

One of the most important safety features for your teen driver is YOU. Parents are the Key to Safe Teen Driving. Make sure your young driver is aware of the Eight Danger Zones for Kids Behind the Wheel.  

Content source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention

Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Getting mammograms regularly can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that if you are 50 to 74 years old, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram.

Are you worried about the cost? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers free or low-cost mammograms. Find out if you qualify.

Get the facts provided by the CDC here.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).  DVAM evolved from the "Day of Unity" held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children.  Domestic violence thrives when we are silent; but if we take a stand and work together, we can end domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Facts

Information provided by

Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month

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Eating fruits and vegetables has many health benefits. People who eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help lower their risk for:

  • Some types of cancer
  • Heart disease, including heart attack and stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity

However, many people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. •Fewer than 1 in 4 adults eat the recommended amount of fruits every day.•Fewer than 1 in 7 adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables every day.

The good news? Communities, health professionals, businesses, and families can work together to encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Make a difference: Spread the word about tips for healthy eating and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

How can Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month make a difference?

We can use this month to raise awareness about the importance of getting enough fruits and vegetables.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Spread the word about programs that support local agriculture
  • Encourage families to make small changes, like keeping fresh fruit or carrotsticks within easy reach
  • Motivate local restaurants, stores, and other businesses to provide quality foodsmade with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Information provided by

National Malnutrition Awareness Week

The purpose of National Malnutrition Awareness Week is to raise awareness in healthcare professionals to consider assessing and intervening earlier and for the public to realize that they need to ask about their nutrition status and advocate for optimal nutrition care as much as possible.

Malnutrition is also referred to as Nutritional Deficiencies.  

What are Nutritional Deficiencies?