Being a quitter is not a good thing, except when it comes to tobacco. And a great time to quit is on the third Thursday of November when the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout takes place. The idea began in 1970 in Randolph, Massachusetts when people were asked to give up their cigarettes for a day and donate the money to a high school scholarship fund. Since 1977, when the event went national, many changes have taken place in the way society views tobacco use.
One of the biggest changes is the public perception of smoking. As people became more educated in the dangers of smoking, adult smoking rates decline, from 42% in 1964 to 19% in 2012. Youth smoking has declined to 14%. Thanks to state and local bans on smoking, many places of employment and public areas are now smoke-free. Continuing to educate people on the dangers of smoking and encouraging them to quit will remain a “critical effort” of the Great American Smokeout. This year the Great American Smokeout has a Twitter chat with the AmericanCancer Society (@AmericanCancer) experts from 11a.m. – 4 p.m. today. Tweet your questions to @SharecareNow and use the hashtag #quitforgood to follow the feed.
The Great American Smokeout is only one day, but it could be that one day that helps you start on a healthier lifestyle. Anyone who uses tobacco can participate. There are many resources out there to help you along your quit journey so you are not alone during the other 364 days of the year. Here are just a few to get you started. Click on the highlighted link for more information.
Tobacco Free Florida helps you quit three ways: by phone , online, and with face-to-face through IQuit with AHEC
teen.smokefree.gov: helping teens get the support they need
Killthecan.org: helping people quit dip and chewing tobacco
ucanquit2.org: Quit Tobacco, Make Everyone Proud is an educational campaign for the U.S. military. Their mission is to help U.S. service members and Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system quit tobacco.
For more information on the Great American Smokeout, click here.