The American Cancer Society supports the holiday on November 17. The Great American Smokeout falls on the third Thursday of November. This holiday challenges smokers across the nation to stop using tobacco for one day. They also inform the public on the hazards of smoking and resources they can use to help quit smoking. This holiday is celebrated with rallies, parades, stunts, quitting information, ”Cold Turkey” menu items in schools, workplaces, main streets and legislative halls.
This holiday began from an event in Randolph, PA when Arthur P. Mullaney asked smokers to quit for a day and donate the money they would have used for cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund. The holiday draws attention to help prevent unnecessary deaths and chronic diseases caused by smoking. Since 1 in 5 adults smoke cigarettes they are at an increased risk for cancer, heart attacks, lung disease, and an early death. Excluding secondhand smoke it is estimated to cause 32% of all cancer deaths in the US, 83% of lung cancer in men and 76% of lung cancer in women. Smoking is not only harmful to the smoker, but also to anyone who inhales around a smoker. Secondhand smoke can cause asthma and other health problems for friends, family and children.
Since this holiday began and we started taking notice of the health risks associated with smoking the percentage of adults that smoke has dropped from 42% to 17% from 1965 to present day. Here is a timeline of how the holiday has developed to include modern day laws.
Here are some tips on how you can get ready to quit smoking:
- Set a date to quit in the next 2 weeks
- Tell your family and friends about your plan and ask for support from them.
- Be prepared for challenges. The urge to smoke lasts 3 to 5 minutes. One puff feeds the craving and makes it stronger.
- Prepare healthy ways to cope:
- Drink water
- Take a walk or ride a bike
- Listen to your favorite song
- Play a game
- Call or text a friend
- Write down your reasons to quit and refer to the list when you have a craving. It will help you get through the urge to smoke.
- Prepare healthy ways to cope:
- Remove all traces of tobacco from home, car and work
- Talk to a pharmacist, doctor, or quit line coach about options.
- Ask a doctor for:
- Nicotine Nasal Spray
- Nicotine Inhaler
- Bupropion (pill)
- Varenicline (pill)
- Most insurances will pay for these medicines
- Free help and information for quitting:
- 1-800-784-8669 English
- 1-800-227-2345 English
- 1-855-335-3569 Spanish
Tips From Former Smokers™
This CDC campaign Web site lets you view the ads, learn more about the people featured and their health conditions, and access quit-smoking resources.
A free, phone-based service with educational materials, coaches, a quit plan, and referrals to local resources to help you quit tobacco use.
A free, phone-based service to help Spanish speaking persons quit tobacco use.
This HHS Web site provides one-stop access to tobacco-related information, including information on quitting tobacco use, from its various agencies.
A Web site that provides free, accurate information and assistance to help you quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.
smokefree.gov (en Español)
A Spanish-language Web site that provides free, accurate information and assistance to help you quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.
A Web site that provides free, accurate information and assistance to help women quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.
SfT (Smokefree Teen)
A Web site that provides free, accurate information and assistance to help teens quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.
A mobile service that provides encouragement, advice, and tips to help young adults quit smoking.
Smokefree Smartphone Apps
Smokefree smartphone applications that help you track your quit smoking progress, receive motivational reminders, and more.
Quit Tobacco—Make Everyone Proud
A DoD-sponsored Web site for military personnel and their families.
Help for Smokers and Other Tobacco Users
An easy-to-read guide to quitting tobacco use.
Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update—Overview
Consumer materials to help tobacco users become tobacco-free.
FDA 101: Smoking Cessation Products
Identifies FDA-approved products that can help you quit smoking.
Harms of Smoking and Benefits of Quitting
A fact sheet from the National Cancer Institute that summarizes the harmful effects of smoking and short- and long-term benefits of quitting.
American Cancer Society
Guide to quitting smoking.
American Heart Association
Information and support to help you quit smoking.
American Lung Association
Resources to help smokers figure out their reasons for quitting and then take the big step of quitting for good.
Many people try to quit several times before they are successful. It is like the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.” Most people are successful when they apply two or more of the following:
- Telephone smoking cessation hotlines
- Stop smoking groups
- Online quit groups
- Nicotine replacement products
- Prescription medication
- Guide books
- Support of friends and family
When you quit you will have more energy and be able to breathe easier. In addition, your chances of getting sick are reduced. You will also save money everyday that adds up to quite a bit at the end of the month.
- Use nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, or a Vapor. See your local vape store for assistance in purchasing your device. Online purchases should only be made from the manufacturer to guarantee authenticity and safety.
- Get rid of all ashtrays. Don’t wash and store them, throw them away!
- Throw away all cigarettes, loose tobacco, rolling papers, lighters, cigars, cigarillos, etc.
- Deodorize your car. There is a product called Ozium that will help remove the smell from your car and home.
- Wash all clothes, sheets, drapes, carpets and furniture.
- Most important, avoid smoking areas for the first 4 weeks.
- Ask a doctor for: