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Great American Smokeout -- November 18, 1999

In 1997, approximately one fourth of U.S. adults and one third of U.S. high school students were cigarette smokers (1,2). Since 1977, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has sponsored the Great American Smokeout to encourage adults to stop smoking and young persons not to start. In 1998, an estimated 9 million persons participated in the Great American Smokeout community activities by either smoking less or not at all for 24 hours. Of those participants, 10% reported smoking less or not at all for 1-5 days after the event (ACS, unpublished data, 1998). This year, the Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 18, will encourage smokers to adopt smoke-free, healthier lifestyles that continue into 2000.

The Great American Smokeout will focus on helping adults to quit smoking and on increasing young persons' awareness of the dangers of tobacco use. For the fourth consecutive year, ACS Commit to Quit program will provide adult smokers with information about methods of quitting smoking, including effective pharmacotherapies. ACS volunteers will conduct smoking-cessation and smoking-prevention activities at hospitals, work sites, schools, shopping malls, military installations, and other locations. To facilitate planning and implementation, the 1999 Guide for Great American Smokeout activities is offered electronically for ACS volunteers and staff.

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,*


  1. Schoenborn CA. Health behaviors in the 1997 National Health Interview Survey: smoking, alcohol, physical activity, and overweight. Presentation Proceedings from the National Center for Health Statistics Conference, Washington, DC, August 1999.
  2. CDC. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance--United States, 1997. MMWR 1998;47(no. SS-3).

* References to sites of non-CDC organizations on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites.

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