More than 40 businesses, hospitals and advocacy organizations have joined the Houston Health Department to kick off the Houston Boots Smoking campaign and raise awareness about the smoking cessation resources available to help Houstonians kick the cigarette habit. The week-long event begins on Monday, September 21, with a news conference at the Historic Oaks of Allen Parkway Village’s Community Center at 1600 Allen Parkway at 9:30 a.m. Faith Foreman, Ph.D., assistant director at the Houston Health Department, will be the keynote speaker for the event. Houstonians can keep up with the all of the week’s activities by following the hashtag #HoustonBootsSmoking.

“With more than 40 organizations and businesses participating in this effort, we have a real opportunity to ensure the 13 percent of adult smokers in our great city kick the habit,” said Dr. Foreman. “Quitting smoking is one of the most powerful changes a person can make for their health, but it’s not easy. Together we can make a clear, measurable difference — not just for ourselves and our generation, but for the generations that come after us.”

The Houston Housing Authority is hosting the event at the Historic Oaks of Allen Parkway Village Community Center where organizers are celebrating the second anniversary of the Houston Housing Authority going smoke-free this month. In addition to Foreman, there will be speakers at the news conference from the American Lung Association and the Houston Housing Department, two of the other organizations working together to help people quit smoking.

The American Lung Association has developed the Quitters Circle app which provides shareable resources and a support network for smokers who are trying to quit. The app includes: a customizable quit plan with goals and milestones; a quit fund tool to ask for support to help cover any costs of quitting and to celebrate the small wins along the way; a feed for sharing stickers and notifications; and tips, tools and articles on helpful information for staying smoke-free.

Another great statewide resource is the Texas Quitline. Available through a toll-free line or Web-based program to all Texans, the Texas Quitline provides tailored counseling sessions focused on long-term success, access to self-help booklets and advice about support programs in communities throughout the state.

“It is estimated there will be almost 2,000 new cases of lung and bronchus cancer in Harris County this year,” said Sandra Curphey Borne, executive director, American Lung Association. “The campaign will be showcasing so many of the fantastic smoking cessation resources that our city offers and we are excited be able to share our new app with Houstonians who are looking for additional resources to quit smoking.”

The campaign is hosting a Twitter Chat on Wednesday, September 23, at 10 a.m. Participants in this conversation will be representatives from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Memorial Hermann, and MD Anderson. To join the conversation, use the Twitter Chat hashtag #HoustonBootsSmoking.

“As the largest city in Texas with the largest medical center in the world, we have a responsibility to set an example not only in our state, but throughout the United States and beyond when it comes to raising awareness about the health risks associated with tobacco use,” said Dan Wolterman, president and CEO, Memorial Hermann. “We’re known for our amazing art and culture, international cuisine and Texas flair, but what if we could be known for being the city that puts an end to smoking? Together we believe it is achievable.”

Houston Boots Smoking partners include: American Lung Association in Texas, Houston Health Department, MD Anderson Center, Memorial Hermann, Go Healthy Houston,, State of Texas Kidney Foundation, Cigna, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, Texas Renal Coalition, Texas Heart Institute, Texas Health Institute, Sisters Network Inc., Texas AHEC East, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Dia de la Mujer Latina, Renaissance Physician Organization, Texas Academy of Physician Assistants, Pfizer, North Cypress Medical Center, Texas Academy of Family Physicians, Houston Business Coalition on Health, Leadership Women, One Voice Texas, Harris Health System, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Houston Area Community Services, Houston Housing Authority, Houston Methodist, Harris County Public Library, City of Houston-Discover Health with the Wellness Connection, Harris County Academy of Family Physicians, United Healthcare, Coalition for Nurses in Advanced Practices, Texas Osteopathic Medical Association, Texas Department of State Health Services, Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, Urban Harvest, HOPE Clinic, Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services, Vets Kick Butts, CHI St. Luke’s Health, Clinton Foundation, & Harris County Medical Society.