Join the Great American Smokeout: November 16, 2017!
Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. They may use the date to make a plan to quit, or they may plan in advance and quit smoking that day. The Great American Smokeout event challenges people to stop using tobacco and shares tools to help quit.
Each year, the Great American Smokeout event draws attention to preventing the deaths and chronic diseases caused by smoking. From 1965 to today, cigarette smoking among adults in the U.S. decreased from 42% to about 17%. Strong smoke-free policies, media campaigns, and increases in the prices of tobacco products are at least partly credited for these decreases.
Still, today about 1 in 5 U.S. adults smoke cigarettes. Excluding secondhand smoke, smoking is estimated to cause 32% of all cancer deaths in the U.S., including 83% of lung cancer deaths in men and 76% of lung cancer deaths in women.
But it’s hard to quit smoking. Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support, such as:
- Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines
- Stop-smoking groups
- Online quit groups
- Nicotine replacement products
- Prescription medicine to lessen cravings
- Guide books
- Encouragement and support from friends and family members
If you’ve been thinking about quitting, the Great American Smokeout is kind of like a New Year’s Resolution for quitting smoking. It’s a great date to start your new life as a non-smoker. But it’s important to plan ahead; use one or (preferably) more of these tips to make a plan for that day. Talk to your doctor, find a support group, and let your family know their support will be invaluable.
Here are some online resources to help you in this great effort:
Smokefree.gov offers a whole range of smoking cessation help, from planning to quit to staying quit for the long term. It is also associated with a several smartphone apps that can support you on a day-to-day basis. wwww.smokefree.gov
The American Cancer Society addresses both cigarette and other tobacco use. It offers assistance to smokers and their family and friends. You can put together your own smoking-cessation program, or help teach kids about the dangers of tobacco. www.cancer.org
The Centers for Disease Control offers an index of resources for quitting smoking, including foreign language materials, tips for women, and the FDA guide to smoking cessation products, like patches and gum. www.cdc.gov
And of course, don’t forget your healthcare professional. He or she can advise you on methods, write a prescription if necessary, and likely has information on quit-smoking groups and support in your area.