The Great American Smokeout is an event created by the American Cancer Society that took place for the first time in California on November 18, 1976. In 1977, the American Cancer Society took the event nationwide and since then it has helped millions of smokers to quit for good, and has helped save many lives. It takes place on the third Thursday in November each year.
On November 20, the Great American Smokeout will land upon the nation once again, and it is an important day for everyone. This is a chance to quit smoking with the help of the millions struggling with the same addiction, or to plan a course of action to quit smoking. It is also important for non smokers. This is their chance to talk to a friend or a loved one in an attempt to get them to join the movement to quit smoking, or at least try to get them to cut down on how many cigarettes they smoke.
Each year, approximately 400,000 Americans die from smoking related illnesses and diseases, including emphysema, cardiovascular disease, miscarriages and many types of cancer. In addition, each year 1,000 infants die because their mothers smoke. Quitting immediately improves health and lowers the chance of developing health problems associated with smoking.
On November 20, the American Cancer Society will be teaming with other popular organizations that promote health in order to provide as much help as possible to those who are participating in the Great American Smokeout and choosing that day to quit smoking, or make a plan to quit smoking. There will be several live Twitter chats during which experts will speak on statistics and facts related to smoking, tips to how to quit for good, support groups available online, as well as answers to questions frequently asked by those who have made the decision to quit.
The American Cancer Society has also created an online gallery of Smokeout characters that celebrate smokers and their decision to quit for good. Both smokers and non smokers are encouraged to view the gallery and share the images on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest in an effort to reach out to those struggling with a tobacco addiction who need a pick-me-up, as well as those who may not know about the Smokeout movement, and made need some encouragement to begin a healthier, tobacco-free life.
Quitting is extremely difficult but it is entirely possible with help and support. The American Cancer Society has published a guide on tips and tools smokers can use when they get an urge to light up. Smokers should talk to their doctors as well to gain more information about what their bodies will be going through as they quit and the poisonous chemicals leave their bodies, as well as the symptoms of withdrawal and how they may be affected by it.
The Great American Smokeout is a day for Americans to come together and choose to make a difference in their lives and quit smoking. No one has to go through the process of quitting alone, as there is so much support out there. The public should remember that Nov. 20, 2014 is the day to step up and make a difficult change. Both smokers and non-smokers are encouraged to get involved and help save lives.
By: Rebecca Savastio