Every year, the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Great American Smokeout is a day when everyone who smokes is encouraged to quit.
The Smokeout has fallen on the third Thursday in November since 1976, when the California division of the American Cancer Society (ACS) convinced nearly 1 million smokers to quit for the day. The ACS took the event nationwide in 1977.
Millions more people have quit smoking over the years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, slightly more than 34 percent of American adults smoked in 1978. Today that number is down to less than 17 percent.
That's a big drop. Still, smoking remains the No. 1 preventable cause of premature death and disease.
No doubt, it's hard to give up smoking. But there are many more resources available today for stopping smoking than there were in 1976.
• Over-the-counter nicotine replacement gum, patches and other products.
• Prescription medicine to help ease cravings.
• A national network of tobacco cessation quitlines: 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669).
• Free tips and tools from the ACS at www.cancer.org/smokeout.
The Watson Clinic Foundation also hosts a monthly class designed to provide an overview of available options for smokers who want to quit. These classes are taught by certified tobacco education specialists, and include information on various types of nicotine replacements, product samples and much more. For more information and to RSVP, visit our Events page.
Make this year the one that you finally say good riddance to smoking—forever.