Health Department offering help to quit smoking


November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and National Smoking Cessation Month, and the Berrien County Health Department is urging smokers to quit while offering help to do so.

Berrien County Health Officer Guy Miller tells us the majority of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking, and lung cancer is responsible for 80% of cancer deaths. A smoker can’t quit early enough.

“One thing we can do at the health department is help people who do want to quit accomplish their goal,” Miller said. “That’s something we do offer here. Anybody out there who’s out there who’s thinking about what it would be like to quite, put down the habit, we do have resources for the community.”

Miller says those who have previously smoked and those over the age of 50 should get themselves screened for lung cancer.

“If you can catch these things early, the long term consequences are going to be greatly reduced. So, the more screening you can get done, the earlier you find disease in an individual, the better the outcome is going to be.”

The Berrien County Health Department can connect someone looking to quit with a prevention specialist who can guide them. The department can also connect that person with nicotine replacement therapy.

Additionally, Miller says radon is another cause of lung cancer. Be sure to have a radon detector in your home.

Thursday is the annual Great American Smokeout, and smokers thinking of kicking the habit can learn more at the health department’s website.