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Great American Smokeout --- November 20, 2008

Approximately 43.4 million (or one in five) U.S. adults are current smokers (1), and smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke result in approximately 443,000 premature deaths in the United States annually (2). November 20, 2008, marks the American Cancer Society's 32nd annual Great American Smokeout, an event that encourages smokers to quit for at least 1 day (in the hope that this might challenge them to stop using tobacco permanently) and that raises awareness of the many effective ways to quit for good.

Smoking cessation has substantial and immediate health benefits, and smokers who use proven interventions (e.g., assistance from a health-care provider, pharmacotherapies approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and behavioral counseling) greatly increase their likelihood of quitting permanently (3). Smokers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and certain U.S. territories who want help in quitting can telephone 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) for free telephone counseling or referrals.

Information about the Great American Smokeout is available at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ped/ped_10_4.asp or by telephone at 800-227-2345. Advice on how to quit smoking is available at http://www.smokefree.gov.

References

  1. CDC. Cigarette smoking among adults---United States, 2007. MMWR 2008;57:1221--6.
  2. CDC. Smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and productivity losses---United States, 2000--2004. MMWR 2008;57:1226--8.
  3. Fiore MC, Jaen CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update. Clinical practice guideline. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service; 2008. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?rid=hstat2.chapter.28163.



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