The Great American Smokeout

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What is the Great American Smokeout?

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 smokers 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.

Smokers are strongly advised to use proven cessation methods, such as prescription medications and counseling, to quit smoking. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist to get their advice.

Research shows that smokers are most successful in their efforts to stop smoking when they have support, such as:

  • Telephone quitlines
  • American Cancer Society Freshstart Program
  • Nicotine Anonymous meetings
  • Self-help books and materials
  • Smoking counselors or coaches
  • Encouragement and support from friends and family members

Using 2 or more of these measures to quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone. For example, some people use a prescription medicine along with nicotine replacement. Other people may use as many as 3 or 4 of the methods listed above. Professional guidance can help you choose the approach that’s right for you.

Nearly 38 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. And more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.

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.

Quitting smoking isn’t easy. It takes time. And a plan. You don’t have to stop smoking in one day. Start with day one. Let the Great American Smokeout event on November 15 be your day to start your journey toward a smoke-free life. You’ll be joining thousands of smokers across the country in taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing your cancer risk. Plus, the American Cancer Society can help you access the resources and support you need to quit.

Quitting starts here.

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The Great American Smokeout

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