Lung Cancer Awareness Month

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(Toms River) – As a young child, I can remember begging my father to please stop smoking. With a gentle smile he would respond with his typical response, “some day, Brian, some day.” Unfortunately, he never did quit and my father died from lung cancer at age 69 after a lifelong habit of smoking cigarettes. That’s why every November I look forward to my modest role as the Ocean County Health Department Public Information Officer and joining the army of anti-smoking crusaders that urge the 38 million smokers in the United States to quit!

You can join the fight too. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the week of November 15th is the American Cancer Association’s (ACA) Great American Smoke Out event.

Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, points out, “Despite making great strides, there is still work to be done. The numbers tell us that smokers have decreased from 42% in 1965 to less than 15% in 2016. However, the American Cancer Society estimates about 154,000 deaths in 2018 from lung cancer. That’s still too many.”

Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death and the second most common cancer.

“Let’s not forget about secondhand smoke”, advises Daniel E. Regenye, Ocean County Health Department Public Health Officer. “It’s important to remind smokers that they aren’t only endangering their own lives but others as well. An alarming 73,000 people succumbed to cancer from secondhand smoke in the U.S between 2005 and 2009.”

The good news is that stopping can lower your risk from getting lung cancer. But quitting is easier said than done. Regenye continued, “Beating nicotine addiction is a personal quest with a variety of resources available to offer guidance and support. Speak to your doctor for the right plan for you.”

Brian Lippai, Ocean County Health Department Public Information Officer, says, “Don’t lose a loved one to lung cancer – it’s never too late to quit. The following is a list of tips for smokers trying to quit from the American Lung Association.”

  • Eliminate triggers – Do a thorough cleaning of your house and car and remove ash trays, smoke odors and other smoking reminders.
  • Give it time – The first 7 to 10 days are the toughest. Try to get to 3 months.
  • Slip ups are ok – No one’s perfect. Be patient and look forward to success.
  • Rework your routine – Break the habitual routine. Start healthy habits.


  • Keep trying – Every smoker can quit. It may take time or a lot of practice, but you do have the power to break the addiction.
  • Wait it out – Distract yourself when you get an urge.

For more info on lung cancer or the Great American Smoke Out please visit the Ocean County Health Department website at or our new website at, to access and learn more about Public Health is You Too! campaign to help equip you to take simple steps to improve your health.