LEWES, Del. - Thursday was the Great American Smokeout, a day aimed to help people quit smoking.
Beebe Hospital has been offering low dose CT lung cancer screenings since the summer, and has been trying to catch lung cancer early.
The state of Delaware has a large number of smokers. According to a 2012 CDC survey among 44 states, 21.7 percent of Delaware adults smoke, compared to 21.2 percent nationally.
And for teens in grades nine through 12, the percentage of smokers was 18.3 percent, compared to the same percentage nationally, placing Delaware in the top 15 worst states for high school smokers.
Tony Malhotra owns Uncle Willie's gas station in lewes and said minors often try to buy cigarettes.
"They are trying to buy tobacco all the time and you have to be careful," he said.
Beebe's screenings are an attempt to detect lung cancer early.
"Early detection is really important because it it allows for the best outcomes," Debbie Campbell, RN, said. "Patients will do much better when the lung cancer is diagnosed early."
More than 300 people have used the scans, and unsurprisingly screeners said most of the positive tests came from people who started smoking at a young age.
So preventing the start is another major factor in preventing health issues.
"The e-cigarettes have become popular amongst young people and a lot of people feel it's a gateway to smoking, so we really want to educate people about that," Campbell, who is the cancer screening nurse navigator, explained. "That isn't a great alternative
Another study from the University of Delaware shows while the number of youth smokers is declining, that decline gets slower every year, and through these scans, doctors hope teens quit before they need it too.