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The Great American Smokeout --- November 19, 1992

Since 1977, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has sponsored the Great American Smokeout to foster community-based activities that encourage cigarette and smokeless-tobacco users to stop using tobacco products for at least 24 hours. Local activities for the Great American Smokeout include distributing anti-tobacco-use materials to interested schools, hospitals, businesses, and other organizations; encouraging retail businesses not to sell tobacco products and restaurants and other businesses to be smoke-free for the day; and providing media coverage of prominent local citizens who have pledged to stop smoking for the day.

During 1991, 83% of adults in the United States knew of the Great American Smokeout, an increase of approximately 2% from 1990 (1). Approximately one third of U.S. smokers participated in this national campaign: 7.1 million (14.2%) smokers reported quitting for the day, and 10.6 million (21.3%) reported reducing the number of cigarettes consumed on that day (1). In addition, approximately 1 million more smokers reported quitting smoking for 1-3 days after the Smokeout in 1991 than did in 1990 (1). Although fewer black and Hispanic smokers knew of the Smokeout, an estimated 25% of those who did know participated, and 14% of black and Hispanic smokers who participated reported that they were not smoking 1-3 days after the Smokeout (1).

This year, the Great American Smokeout will be on Thursday, November 19. This year's objective is for 25% of smokers to give up smoking for the 24-hour period. The goal of the Smokeout is to encourage cessation and, by doing so, to help smokers to realize that if they can quit for 24 hours, they can quit permanently. Information is available from local chapters of the ACS; telephone numbers of these local chapters are available by telephoning (800) 227-2345.

Reported by: American Cancer Society, Atlanta. Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC.


  1. Lieberman Research Inc. A study of the impact of the 1991 Great American Smokeout: summary, Gallup Organization. New York: American Cancer Society, 1991.

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