Splash photo

October 2014 Health Challenge: Are You or Someone You Care About Still Struggling with Tobacco? Take the First Step towards Quitting!

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, and is the most preventable form of cancer in the world. Each year about 480,000 early deaths in the U.S. are attributed to tobacco use1. Still, about 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — a bit under 1 in every 5 adults.

To raise awareness and encourage tobacco users to quit, the American Cancer Society hosts the Great American Smokeout (GASO) every year, on the third Thursday of November. The event encourages tobacco users to quit for a day in hope they will quit for good. By quitting just for one day, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk2. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, November 20th, 2014.

Why should you participate?

  • Improve your health - Your body will begin to repair the damage from tobacco use the first day you are tobacco free.

  • Save money - It’s expensive to smoke. A pack a day habit adds up to nearly $2,000 a year.

  • Set a good example - Model healthy behavior for your children and other young people with whom you interact. 70% of smokers started smoking at age 18 or younger.

  • Smell better, taste food’s full flavor and sleep well - If you quit smoking, your hair, clothes, car and house will not smell like cigarettes. Your sense of taste will improve and you will breathe easier, allowing for a more restful night of sleep.

  • Try, try and try again - You can take the first step toward quitting for good. Most former tobacco users make several attempts to quit before being successful. Why not try to quit or cut back your tobacco use on November 18th?

How can you quit for good?

The Great American Smokeout, with support from the American Cancer Society, is a good first step. After the Smokeout, if you want to pursue a healthier lifestyle, additional help will improve your chances of staying tobacco-free.

Check out the American Cancer Society’s web site at www.cancer.org to help you plan for the Smokeout and encourage others to join you. While you are at the site, you can take the interactive quiz to determine what kind of smoker you are and what you can do to quit.


  1. Tobacco-Related Cancers Fact Sheet

  2. The Great American Smokeout