The Great American Smokeout is officially Thursday, but for Carter County residents willing to stop smoking even for a day, the day to quit is Tuesday during the 3rd Annual Great American Smoke Out "Walk It Out" Pep Rally.

The event is set from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Noble Stadium at Ardmore High School and features the Ardmore High School Marching Band leading the walk around the track. Other highlights include local cheerleaders performing original cheers and a balloon release.

The rally will emphasize:
Being tobacco free — set the date
Eating better — fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables
Moving more —Get at least 30 minutes of activity each day

A tailgate party in the parking lot will also be spotlighted. The party is sponsored by the Carter County Turning Point Fitness and Nutrition Coalition and will include activity stations and "lots of information." Coalition organizers said best of all the party is a "no charge" event.

"The decision to quit smoking can be one of the most important choices you will ever make," said Joan White, Carter County Turning Point Tobacco Coalition chairperson. "Make a plan, organize your support and go for it. Over the next day, month and year, you'll feel better and you'll have more money to spend on other things that are important to you."

Support can come from a spouse, friends, your doctor, or professional quit coaches from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or online at Free quit coaching, and free patches, gum or lozenges are available for all callers who qualify.