Breathe Easier: Become An EX During Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) is challenging all smokers who want to quit to try again.

Smoking-related lung cancers are the number one killer cancer in America. In fact, lung cancer accounts for 28% of all cancer deaths in the United States; more Americans lose their lives to lung cancer every year than breast, prostate, and colon cancers combined. While 70% of smokers want to quit, many lack the tools and resources they need to quit for good. Consequently, they will try an average of 8-11 times before they quit long-term. The TPCP is encouraging residents to celebrate the American Cancer Society's GASO by learning how to Become An EX and quit smoking for good.

"In NH, 781 people died from lung cancer in 2005", said Director of Public Health Dr. José Montero. "That is why it is vital to continue to put efforts into proven cessation programs like the EX® program, that teaches smokers how to re-learn their life without cigarettes and so that smokers who want to quit are armed with all the tools and resources to help them do so."

The EX campaign is a program aimed at those who continue to struggle with quitting smoking by identifying their triggers and helping them re-learn life without cigarettes. EX campaign provides smokers with free, state of the art information and online tools.


"We hope through the EX program we will start to see a decline in the incidence of lung cancer," stated Montero, "and subsequently a drop in the huge social and economic burden this has on New Hampshire and the rest of the country."

The following is a list of some of the events planned in New Hampshire to recognize and celebrate the GASO on Thursday, November 20.

The DHHS, Department of Corrections (DOC), and CoRe Coalition from Belknap County and Breathe NH are hosting an event at the Laconia Prison; it's part of an on-going Prison Project to reach out to tobacco users in the prison population.

Cheshire Coalition for Tobacco Free Communities and Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Keene, NH are sponsoring a "Mobile Butt Swap" again this year. Tobacco users are invited to swap their tobacco products for a week's worth of nicotine patches or gum at Home Depot from 2 to 2:30, Wal-Mart from 3:30 to 4 or at the Keene Community Kitchen from 5:30 to 6 on Wednesday, November 19th or in the lobby of Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene from 7 to 3 p.m. on November 20th.

The Sanborn/Timberlane Safe and Drug Free Community Coalition's Tobacco Free Program will be working with Timberlane Regional High School to promote the GASO to area youth. Along with the Student Assistance Program they will provide activities, demonstrating what tobacco does to lungs, and have several displays and informational handouts at the school cafeteria throughout the day.

The Coos County Coalition and the Northern Grafton County Coalition will distribute American Cancer Society GASO materials in regional schools and will be putting up displays in several community heath and medical offices.



Your statement "smoking-related lung cancers are the number one cancer killer in America" is misleading and needs to be corrected. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in America. There is no way to tell if one's particular lung cancer is caused by smoking or not . Yes, tudies estimate that 87% of lung cancer is caused by smoking, but radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and 10-15% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are never-smokers. So, while I applaud your efforts to encourage people to quit smoking, please don't write in such a way that implies that there is a difference between "smoking related lung cancer" and "non-smoking related lung cancer." They're the same lung cancer. There's simply no way to tell what causes a particular person's lung cancer. If one is or was a smoker, one can surmise that their smoking history might have something to do with onset of their disease. But it might not. If they've never smoked, they can most definitely assume that smoking was not a cause. But their lung cancer is the same lung cancer as the person who smoked. There's no research that proves otherwise. And one more thing to point out, smoking is a greater risk factor for heart disease and stroke than it is for cancer and when it comes to cancer we know there are at least 10 different cancers that have smoking as a risk factor. Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer - and it's one of the least funded cancers. It doesn't make sense, but it's true. One of the things standing in lung cancer's way of more funding and awareness is the smoking stigma, so please do your part in not perpetuating the smoking stigma. Thank you, Julia Gaynor
While it is laudable to encourage others to quit smoking, your approach is judgmental, disingenuous and ineffective. First, more Americans who never smoked will die from lung cancer this year than Americans who die from AIDS. About 15 percent of those diagnosed with lung cancer never smoked. That means more than 30,000 Americans who never put a cigarette between their lips will be diagnosed with lung cancer. Lung cancer in never smokers is the sixth leading cancer killer. Most Americans who will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year either never smoked or already quit smoking, perhaps decades ago, like myself. Finally, there are many good reasons to quit smoking, but the reality is only 15 percent of lifetime smokers will develop lung cancer. It’s time to stop condemning smokers. It’s time to demonstrate compassion for everyone with lung cancer—smokers, former smokers and never smokers. It’s time to offer real help to those who want to quit. It’s time to take lung cancer research seriously. There’s much more to lung cancer than just saying no to tobacco. Dusty Donaldson Lung Cancer Survivor/Advocate
I applaud your efforts - AND it's vital that people know that 15% of new lung cancers are NOT smoking-related and are occurring in younger women who never smoked. In addition, 60% of new lung cancers are being diagnosed in never- or former-smokers, so those who were smokers or have other risk factors -- genetics, exposure to radon, etc. - should know that CT screening could help diagnose lung cancer at its earliest stage, when it is most treatable. My thanks for your efforts. I'm a lung cancer survivor who quit smoking 17 years before my diagnosis, and now speak and write about the stigma of lung cancer. I also do outreach for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, the Lung Cancer Alliance, the Beverly Fund,and the National Lung Cancer Partnership.
Would someone please clarify. "Smoking-related lung cancers are the number one killer cancer in America." If a person dies of lung cancer and is a non smoker, does that make lung cancer less that the number one cancer killer for that person?? Our precious daughter who was a non smoker was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer when she was 23 years old. She lived almonst five years after her diagnosis. Whether a person smokes or not should not be the emphasis. The focus needs to be on more lung cancer research and education. How many times have you asked a person with colon cancer if they had eaten enough of the right vegetables? Anne NC