Great American Smoke Out
More than 34 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. And more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. While the cigarette smoking rate has dropped significantly, from 42% in 1965 to 14% in 2017, the gains have been inconsistent. Some groups of Americans suffer disproportionately from smoking-related cancer and other diseases, including those who have less education, who live below the poverty level, or who suffer from serious psychological distress, as well as certain racial and ethnic groups, and lesbians, gays and bisexuals.
Quitting smoking improves health immediately and over the long term – at any age. Stopping smoking is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Getting help through counseling and medications doubles or even triples your chances of quitting successfully.
For more than 40 years, the American Cancer Society has hosted the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November. The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity for people who smoke to commit to healthy, smoke -free lives – not just for a day, but year round. The Great American Smokeout provides an opportunity for individuals, community groups, businesses, health care providers, and others to encourage people to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and initiate a smoking cessation plan on the day of the event. The Great American Smokeout event challenges people to stop smoking and helps people learn about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay quit.
It's hard to quit tobacco
Addiction to nicotine in cigarettes is one of the strongest and most deadly addictions one can have. Quitting is hard for many people who smoke. It takes commitment and starts with a plan, often takes more than one quit attempt, and requires a lot of support. Often, the younger one was when he or she started to smoke, the more intense the addiction.
The American Cancer Society can help
Quitting may not be easy, but you can do it and the American Cancer Society can help. The American Cancer Society is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support, from questions about quitting smoking to looking for national or local resources to help you quit. To find out more, visit cancer.org/smokeout or call 1-800-227-2345.