Officials at the Salt Lake County Government Center asked workers to quit Thursday.

No, the county isn't going out of business.It just wants county employees to put their tobacco habit "out of business" for one day as part of the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout.

"We appreciate the opportunity the Smokeout gives us to demonstrate concern for our county employees and for our community," said Dr. Harry Gibbons, director of the Salt Lake City-County Health Department. "Of course, we realize how difficult it is for many smokers to quit. That's why we're sold on the approach taken by the Great American Smokeout. It's a light-hearted, good-natured campaign, not an `us against them' type thing."

In addition to the events scheduled at the government center, the Health Department, Community Counseling Center and American Cancer Society promoted the Smokeout in 18 Salt Lake area high schools. Students pledged to promote a smoke-free school environment, adopted a smoker for the day and gave survival kits away.

In Ogden, St. Benedict's and McKay-Dee Hospitals officially implemented a smoke-free environment policy Thursday. To recognize the new policy and encourage employee participation, St. Benedict's featured the world's largest ash tray, into which smokers were invited to pitch their cigarettes in the hospital's main lobby.

Activities scheduled at the Salt Lake County Government Center included a cigarette baby-sitting service where employees dropped off their cigarettes in the morning and picked them up in the afternoon. Survival kits were available to help quitters and a "Walk Your Butts Off" march was held during the lunch hour.

Smokeout participants are eligible for additional incentives donated by local merchants such as Thanksgiving turkeys, beverage coolers, pizzas and snacks.