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HUDSON – The days of Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man are long gone, but cigarette smoking and other tobacco uses are still here and that is where the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout comes into play.

The annual event, being held today, is aimed at pointing out the ills of smoking and offers ways to kick the habit, notes Rose Aulino, a psychiatric nurse and tobacco cessationist specialist with the Columbia County Department of Mental Health.

“We have so many new treatments for people who are trying to quit smoking and the increasing tax on cigarettes has also been helpful, she said.

Rose Aulino

For years, cigarette smoking was on the decline, but that changed with smokeless cigarettes.

“Before vaping became a thing, we were at the lowest level of all time of young people taking up a tobacco product, and then the initiation of vaping just escalated all those losses we had, and now it is all back up,” Aulino said.

Persons wanting to kick the habit may call the state hotline at 1-866-NY-Quits or check out www.NYSsmokefree.com.

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