Itís one week before Thanksgiving, the annual excuse Americans have established for guilt-free feasting and caloric overindulgence. So what better time than now to focus on our health?

Smokers can take a major step toward that end today by joining the annual Smokeout sponsored by the American Cancer Society for the past 31 years.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, people who quit smoking, regardless of age, live longer than people who continue to smoke, and quitting smoking substantially decreases the risk of lung, laryngeal, esophageal, oral, pancreatic, bladder and cervical cancers.

In observance of the Smokeout, Brownwood Regional Medical Center has today implemented a smoke-free policy at the hospital and all its affiliated campuses.

On Friday, area residents can contribute to the well-being of others by joining the Brownwood Rotary Clubís community blood drive at the Kroger parking lot. Those who donate will receive a voucher for a pumpkin pie from the grocer, and several other prizes. Call Laura Terhune at 646-9535 to make an appointment.

The holiday season is a time of celebration, and few things are more important than good health. Itís something to celebrate, and itís something for which to give thanks.

Brownwood Bulletin