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Letters to the editor

By Staff
Dear Editor:
Words cannot express the gratitude to the community for the thoughts, prayers and concerns you have expressed after the mishap we experienced at the Aliceville game this past Friday night. Many thanks to Dr. Villarreal, Brother Jack Fitts, Trent Evans, Justin Lambert, Baxley Raines and countless others who came to our rescue.
Many times things occur out of our control in the blink of an eye that can change your world forever. It was by the grace of God that we survived with few injuries. The results could have easily met a different outcome. Your prayers were felt throughout the ordeal.
We can only hope this will help set a precedent that actions will be taken at other facilities similar to these that this won't happen again.
Again, we thank you for your concerns from the bottom of our hearts.
Terece Shehan and Sandy Cauley
Dear Editor:
The American Cancer Society (ACS) holds the Great American Smokeout each November to help smokers quit cigarettes for at least one day, in hopes they will quit forever.  This year's event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17.
This is the 25th Anniversary of the Great American Smokeout. The Coalition for a Healthier Escambia County will hold a public forum on this same day at the Atmore Community Hospital in the conference room to discuss the importance of having stronger clean air laws.
In Alabama, the consequences of smoking are devastating.  More than 7,000 Alabamians die each year as a result of tobacco use, and another 1,000 youths and adults die from exposure to secondhand smoke.
Annual healthcare costs in Alabama directly caused by smoking are $1.38 billion.  One in four adults is a smoker, and according to the Alabama Youth Tobacco Survey conducted in early 2004, 24 percent of high school students are current smokers.
The benefits of quitting smoking are numerous. According to CDC, the risk of heart attack decreases within 24 hours of not smoking.  Additionally, the risk of cancer, stroke and lung disease are greatly reduced. Within 20 minutes after smoking that last cigarette, the body makes changes that reduce the harm to the body from smoking.
Alabama now has a Quitline that offers help to those who wish to quit smoking or chewing tobacco.  1-800-Quit-Now is available for free counseling services Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Quit plans are developed with the caller and counselor to fit the caller's needs.  Each caller will receive a Quit Kit, as well as discount coupons for nicotine replacement therapy.  Non-tobacco users are also encouraged to call to seek help for friends and loved ones who want to quit tobacco.  Services are also provided in Spanish and other languages as needed through a translator service.
For more information, call Tina Findley, Tobacco Prevention and Control Coordinator, Alabama Department of Public Health, 251-867-5765.
Tina Findley, RN
ADPH Area 9
Tobacco Prevention &Control Coordinator