Ardmore’s Great American Smokeout will encourage smokers to kick the habit by way of barbecue next month.
Carter County Health Department, Ardmore Fire Department and the Carter County Turning Point Coalition have partnered up to stage the first ever Smoke This, Not That! barbecue cook off, a car show hosted by Blue River Car Club and educational fire safety activities for kids. All in the name of helping smokers quit.
“What we really want people to do is call the quit line ahead of time, before the event, and plan to quit smoking that day,” Wellness Coordinator Kristi Combes said. “That way they can think it over, they can have a plan and quit that day.”
Attendance is free, but guests can purchase tasting kits that will let them sample the competitors’ barbecue and vote on a crowd favorite for $10 ahead of time or $12 the day of. T-shirts are also available for $12 in advance and $15 the day of.
“There’s a lot of stuff for people to do that day and lots of stuff for kids,” Combes said.
At 1 p.m., people who have decided to quit will be called to the main stage to be recognized.
Visitors can also sign up to receive free smoke alarms from the fire department and set up a time to have someone come help them set up the devices.
“(The fire department) wants to use this as an opportunity to talk to the kids about the dangers of cigarettes as well as smoke inhalation,” Combes said.
This cook off is a Barbecue Competitors Alliance-sanctioned event as well as a state championship competition.
Combes said the organizers are still in need of volunteers, BBQ judges, competitors and sponsors.
The cook off will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. November 18 at the field just south of the Greater Southwest Historical Museum, located at 35 Sunset Drive. Tasting kits and t-shirts are on sale online at https://klcombes.wixsite.com/smokeout. Anyone pledging to stop smoking will receive a discount on their shirt.