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Smokers: Go cold turkey for 24 hours for a chance at Thanksgiving bounty

October 30, 2006

Go cold turkey for 24 hours - that's the challenge for area smokers during the Great American Smokeout Nov. 16. People who sign a pledge card and avoid using tobacco for 24 hours will have a chance to win a free turkey donated by area grocery stores. People who pledge to support a friend or relative might win other incentives.

Members of the Coalition for a Healthier Washington County will distribute information and pledge cards at numerous sites. They will encourage smokers to abstain for a 24-hour period, in the hope they will stop smoking entirely. Winners of the drawings will be contacted by phone.

Pledge cards can be obtained at the following sites: Nov. 2 and 16, Hagerstown Community College; Nov. 3, Four Seasons Florist in Smithsburg; Nov. 6, Washington County Free Library; Nov. 6 through 10, Washington County Hospital; Nov. 8, Citicorp; Nov. 9, Robinwood Atrium; Nov. 11, Pittman's Market in Hancock; Nov. 14, Hagerstown Square; Nov. 15 and 16, Brook Lane Health Services; Nov. 16, Mental Health Center, Walnut Street Community Health Center and Western Maryland Hospital Center.

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This year marks the 30th Great American Smokeout, an idea that grew out of a 1974 event. Lynn R. Smith, a newspaper editor in Minnesota, spearheaded the state's first D-Day, or Don't Smoke Day. The Smokeout draws attention to the deaths and chronic diseases caused by smoking. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women, with more than 80 percent of lung cancers thought to result from smoking.

Ernst Market, Pittman's Grocery, Martin's Food Markets, Smithsburg Market and Weis Markets Inc. are donating turkeys for the drawing.

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