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The Great American Smokeout -- November 19, 1998

In 1995, an estimated 47 million U.S. adults smoked cigarettes; in 1997, at least 4.5 million U.S. adolescents were cigarette smokers (1,2). Since 1977, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has sponsored the Great American Smokeout to promote community-based activities designed to encourage smokers to refrain from smoking cigarettes for at least 24 hours. In 1997, nearly 11.3 million smokers (approximately 24% of smokers) reported participating in the Smokeout, and 19% of participants reported smoking less or not at all 1-5 days after the Smokeout (3). This year, the Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 19, will focus on preventing the use of all tobacco products and encouraging children and adolescents never to start using tobacco.

As part of the Great American Smokeout, ACS volunteers will conduct smoking-prevention and smoking-cessation activities for persons of all ages at shopping malls, worksites, hospitals, military installations, and other locations. Activities will include the ACS Commit to Quit program, which helps smokers select a method of quitting that meets their personal needs.

Additional information is available from ACS, telephone (800) 227-2345; CDC, telephone (800) 232-1311 or (770) 488-5705; or the ACS Great American Smokeout World-Wide Web site

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


  1. CDC. Cigarette smoking among adults -- United States, 1995. MMWR 1997;46:1217-20.

  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Preliminary results from the 1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Rockville, Maryland: US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1998.

  3. Lieberman Research Inc. A study of public reactions to the 1997 Great American Smokeout and American Cancer Society: a partnership with Nicoderm CQ and Nicorette gum. Atlanta, Georgia: American Cancer Society, 1997.

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