PORTLAND – As the official sponsor of birthdays, the American Cancer Society marks the 37th annual Great American Smokeout on Nov. 15 by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.
An estimated one billion people worldwide will die during the 21st century because of tobacco use, according to The Tobacco Atlas, published by the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation. The society provides tips and tools online to help smokers quit tobacco for good.
“Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States,” said Cheryl Tucker, vice president of Health Initiatives for the American Cancer Society. “Quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do for your health and the Great American Smokeout is a great way to start.”
Tobacco use accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths and 80 percent of lung cancer deaths. In the U.S., tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths, or about 443,000 premature deaths each year. Smokers who quit, regardless of age, live longer than people who continue to smoke.
The American Cancer Society created the trademarked concept for and held its first Great American Smokeout in 1976 as a way to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for a day. One million people quit smoking for a day at the 1976 event in California. The Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to commit to making a long-term plan to quit smoking for good. Find tips and tools online to help you quit smoking for good at www.cancer.org/smokeout.