Thomas Hammer coffee in partnership with the Spokane Regional Health District will be giving out free 12-ounce cups of drip coffee to their first 350 customers at each of their locations on Thursday, November 20th for the Great American Smokeout.  The locations include: Sacred Heart Medical Center (main building) and in the West Tower , Downtown, Northtown Mall, and Spokane Valley Mall.

Tobacco users can also visit the Spokane Transit Authority (STA) Plaza, located downtown on Wall and Riverside, to receive a free "quit kit" starting at 6 a.m. until supplies run out.   The kits contain local cessation resources and information, fun smoking cessation aids and information on the Washington Tobacco Quit Line, 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Members of Spokane Teens Against Tobacco (STAT) and the Ciggy Butts mascot will also be at the STA Plaza urging smokers that "it's time to quit!"

Spokane County's smoking rates have dropped from 24% in 2006 to 18.6% in 2007.  Through events like the Great American Smokeout the Health District hopes to continue to lower the rates. 

The American Cancer Society reports that the average smoker attempts to quit 5-7 times before succeeding. Smokers are encouraged to consider the following tips for quitting:

  • Choose a method that fits your personal needs. Discuss options with your doctor.

  • When you get the urge to light up, remember why you chose to quit and keep reminding yourself of those reasons

  • Don't do it alone! Reach out to friends and family for support to help you quit.

  • Scramble up your day and change your daily activities that are connected with smoking. Take a walk on your break or travel a different way to work.

  • Call the Washington State Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free counseling and nicotine replacement therapy.

Since 1989, the Health District's Tobacco Prevention and Control program has been working to increase public awareness about the dangers of tobacco use. Current priorities include adult cessation, reducing secondhand smoke exposure and reducing youth access to tobacco products. Additional information about the Tobacco Prevention and Control Programs is available by contacting the Spokane Regional Health District at (509) 324-1553. For additional information about the Great American Smokeout, visit www.cancer.org.