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The Great American Smokeout, November 18, 1993

Since 1977, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has sponsored the Great American Smokeout to foster community-based activities that encourage cigarette smokers to stop smoking for at least 24 hours. These activities include distributing materials to interested schools, hospitals, businesses, and other organizations that discourage tobacco use; 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 the Great American Smokeout in 1992, an estimated 3.3 million (7.1%) smokers reported quitting, and 7.5 million (16.4%) reported reducing the number of cigarettes smoked on that day. Furthermore, an estimated 1.5 million (3.3%) smokers reported quitting smoking for 3-5 days after the Smokeout (1). Approximately 9.7 million packs of cigarettes were not smoked; thus an estimated $17.8 million were not spent on cigarettes (1-3).

This year, the Great American Smokeout will be on Thursday, November 18. The overall goal of the Smokeout is to encourage cessation to show smokers that if they can quit for 24 hours, they can quit permanently. Information is available from local chapters of the ACS; for telephone numbers of these local chapters, telephone (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 1992 Great American Smokeout: summary, Gallup Organization. New York: American Cancer Society, 1992.

  2. Cigarette smoking among adults -- United States, 1991. MMWR 1993;42: 230-3.

  3. The Tobacco Institute. The tax burden on tobacco: historical compilation 1992. Washington, DC: The Tobacco Institute, 1993.

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