Great American Smokeout, smoke-free Philly

PHILADELPHIA - November 21, 2013

It is all about motivation and perseverance. The Great American Smokeout isn't supposed to be a time when every smoker just quits cold-turkey, but it is a day to start planning how to break the habit.

Seven out of 10 smokers say they do want to quit.

At Philadelphia City Hall, Mayor Michael Nutter and Health Commissioner Donald Schwarz announced the Ex-Smoker's "Hall of Fame."

It is a salute to city employees who have quit smoking and are now inspiring others to quit.

More campaigns are now aimed at helping adults quit for the sake of the children around them.

This is especially important in Philadelphia, where 1 of every 4 adults smokes - that is the highest rate for any major American city.

Smoke Free Philly produced a video showing the effects secondhand smoke has on kids at various stages in their lives.

Asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections have all been linked to secondhand smoke.

At St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, smoking isn't allowed anywhere - not even on the sidewalk, and doctors routinely talk to parents about it.

"Whether it's a well visit or a sick visit, we discuss smoking. So we do ask every parent all the time, is there anyone who lives with your child that smokes? And if they do, then we follow that up with - are you ready to quit? Hoping that they will say yes," explained Dr. Blair Dickinson.

Dr. Blair Dickinson says parents who are ready can get prescriptions for nicotine patches or gum, and they are referred to 1-800-Quit-Now for support.

She says even parents who smoke away from their kids still carry harmful particles on their clothes and hair.

"Those particles come back off into the air, and combine with the products that are in the air anyway and make more carcinogenic compounds," said Dr. Dickinson.

The American Cancer Society is also using Thursday's Smokeout to call for a $1.00 increase in Pennsylvania's cigarette tax.

They believe that 77,000 adults would quit because of the cost and 85,000 kids would never start.

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