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Holyoke takes steps to fight smoking

Mayor Michael J. Sullivan presents ACS community executive director of cancer control Arlela Bethel with a proclamation declaring "American Smokeout Day." Reminder Publications photo by Natasha Clark
By Natasha Clark

Assistant Managing Editor

HOLYOKE Last Tuesday, city employees and members of the community were welcome to a respiratory screening courtesy of The Great American Smokeout.

On hand for the City Hall event were Respiratory Therapists Margie Crit and Susan Orsini of Holyoke Respiratory and Arlela Bethel, community executive director of cancer control at the American Cancer Society. Informational pamphlets and packages loaded with guidance for anyone who wants to quit smoking were available, along with a Forced Vital Capacity screening. By blowing into the instrument, the test is designed to read if an individual has small airway or obstructive airway disease. Test results were printed instantly on the scene.

Bethel said Holyoke Mayor Michael J. Sullivan has always supported the efforts of the American Cancer Society. Though this was not the first collaboration between ACS and the city of Holyoke, it was the first year this type of setup has been hosted at City Hall.

"The mayor supports November Lung Cancer Awareness," Bethel said. "We wanted to make it more interactive."

"[Quitting smoking] is an important part of the health of the community," Sullivan stated. "It's going to benefit the community and lower the costs of health care."

For additional information on quitting tobacco use, call 1-800-ACS-2345.