The Great American Smokeout

The Great American Smokeout

Today is the Great American Smokeout, which is held on the third Thursday of November every year. Smoking is very unhealthy so it’s recommended that people quit smoking as soon as possible. Once someone quits, the risk of developing diseases like lung cancer decreases, leading to a healthier, better life. The Great American Smokeout is a great way to begin the journey of quitting by not smoking on this specific day. It can be a way to build momentum and can be the perfect first step to a life of not smoking. Once someone stops smoking one day, he or she can build on that and go day by day until the need to smoke is no longer there. People are also urged to make a smoking cessation plan or set a date to quit if they cannot quit smoking today. It is all about living a healthier, smoke-free life that does not rely on tobacco.

Nicotine in tobacco products is one of the strongest and deadliest addictions that people can have, making it very hard to quit. People need to make a plan when quitting and may even need to try multiple times. The earlier that people start smoking, the stronger the addiction is and the harder it is to overcome it. To be truly successful, people need to utilize different types of support. There are different types of support including telephone quit lines, nicotine anonymous meetings, self-help books, and smoking counselors. People can also look to family and friends for support. Utilizing at least two of these support types greatly increases the chance of success of quitting.

The Great American Smokeout started small. In 1970 a man named Arthur P. Mullaney asked people to give up smoking for one day and donate any money they would have spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund. In 1974, the editor of the Monticello Times in Minnesota created the first Don’t Smoke Day, also called D-Day. This caught on and on November 18, 1976, the California division of the American Cancer Society was able to get one million people to quit smoking for the day. This was the first official Smokeout, and the following year was the first nationwide event.

With the Great American Smokeout bringing attention to smoking and its ill effects, laws have been created to reduce these deaths. This has reduced the smoking rate from 42 percent to 15.5 percent from 1965 to 2016. These great strides do not mean that smoking is no longer an issue though. There are still things that need to be done. Smoking is still the largest cause of lung cancer death in the United States with 29 percent of all cancer deaths coming from it. If more people partake in the Great American Smokeout, many lives could be potentially saved.

If you were exposed to asbestos and now have lung cancer or mesothelioma you may be entitled to compensation, even if you smoked. Call us at 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form to speak to one of our staff and

“History of the Great American Smokeout Event” American Cancer Society (September 11, 2018). [Link]

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