Thursday, November 16th, marks the 42nd Great American Smokeout, a day set aside for smokers and other tobacco users to abstain for at least one day, in hopes that people will quit completely. The idea began in 1971 when Arthur Mullaney, a Massachusetts resident, asked people to quit smoking for a day and donate the money they would have spent on tobacco to a local school. Shortly after Monticello Times editor Lynn Smith led Minnesota’s first “D-Day” (Don’t Smoke Day), the American Cancer Society’s(ACS) California chapter encouraged nearly one million smokers to quit for the day on November 18, 1976. Due to the success in California, the ACS took the event nationwide in 1977, maintaining the third Thursday in November as the target date.
Research shows that smokers are most successful in “kicking the habit” when they have some means of support, such as nicotine replacement products, counseling, prescription medicines to lessen cravings, guide books, and the encouragement of friends and family members.
According to the ACS, 1 in 5 deaths in the United States is smoking related, and 87% of lung cancer deaths are attributed to smoking. Lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer death, is also the most preventable. If you would like to “kick the habit”, but you are not sure what steps to take, call the Allegany Council at 585-593-1920, x 713, for tips on how to quit and stay quit. Assistance is also available for users of smokeless tobacco.
Don’t allow yourself to become a replacement smoker or a statistic…join millions of Americans today on a journey to a healthier you!