Health officials invite residents to ‘kick butts’

Published 5:17 pm Monday, March 13, 2017

Smoking is a habit that affects many, and Beaufort County adult smokers have surpassed both the state and national levels.

More than 28 percent of adults in Beaufort County are smokers, according to the latest data from the Beaufort County Health Department. North Carolina’s rate of adult and high-school-age smokers is 21.8 percent, while the national rate is 21.2 percent.

The county’s health department is looking to combat these statistics close to home through participation in the national campaign Kick Butts Day, slated for Wednesday.

“We’re going to have a table set up in our lobby. It’s going to have some resources for those who are possibly looking to quit,” said JaNell Lewis, human services planner and preparedness coordinator at Beaufort County Health Department.

Lewis said these resources are meant to help people who are not sure how to quit, as well as help people whose loved ones would like to quit.

The health department has participated in the campaign in some way for at least the past five years, Lewis said.

“On average, approximately 1,000 events in schools and communities across the United States participate in Kick Butts Day. The event is geared toward raising awareness of the problem of tobacco use across the country and within the local community,” a press release states.

While Kick Butts Day is usually geared toward youth, Lewis said local health officials want to raise awareness and help people of all ages.

“They try to focus on youth. If you never get started, you never get hooked,” she explained. “We gear ours toward everybody. We think it is important at any age to quit smoking.”

Lewis said seemingly small percentage points correlate to large numbers of people, so smoking is a topic of much importance, as it affects a lot of people in some way.

“When you look at it in a scale of people wise, you know, it makes a difference,” she said.

For questions or tips on quitting, visit, or call the Beaufort County Health Department at 252-946-1902.