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The Great American Smokeout -- November 21, 1991

Since 1977, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has sponsored the Great American Smokeout to promote communitywide antismoking activities that encourage smokers to refrain from smoking cigarettes for at least 24 hours. Local activities for this national event have included provision of materials to businesses, hospitals, schools, and other organizations that wish to conduct antismoking activities; requests by local ACS offices that stores not sell cigarettes for the day; media coverage of prominent local citizens who have stopped smoking; and participation by restaurants and other public places in a smoke-free day. In 1990, nearly 19 million persons--almost 40% of all smokers in the United States--participated in the Smokeout (1), an increase of 1 million participants from 1989 (2).

During the 1990 Smokeout, approximately 7.4 million (15%) of the nation's smokers refrained from smoking, and 11.5 million (23%) reduced the number of cigarettes smoked. Approximately 4.9 million (10%) smokers were not smoking 1-3 days later. More whites (85%) had heard about the Smokeout than had blacks and Hispanics (65%); however, 25% of black and Hispanic smokers and 14% of white smokers refrained from smoking on the day of the Smokeout. About 14% of black and Hispanic smokers and 9% of white smokers were not smoking 1-3 days later (1).

This year, the Smokeout will be on Thursday, November 21. The goal is to help at least 20% of smokers give up smoking for the 24-hour period. Additional information is available from local offices of the ACS; for telephone numbers of the local offices, telephone (800) 227-2345. Reported by: L Hurt, American Cancer Society, Atlanta. Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC.

References

  1. Lieberman Research Inc. A study of the impact of the 1990 Great American Smokeout: summary, Gallup Organization. New York: American Cancer Society, 1990.

  2. Lieberman Research Inc. A study of the impact of the 1989 Great American Smokeout: summary, Gallup Organization. New York: American Cancer Society, 1989.

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