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Notice to Readers: Great American Smokeout --- November 20, 2003

In 2001, an estimated 22.8% of U.S. adults (1) and in 2002 an estimated 22.9% of U.S. high school students (2) were current cigarette smokers. An estimated 70% of smokers want to quit (3). To help smokers quit, each year the American Cancer Society (ACS) sponsors the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday in November. Since 1977, ACS has encouraged smokers to quit for 24 hours in the hope they might quit for good. Last year, 19% of smokers participated in the Great American Smokeout, and of those smokers, 6% had not resumed 1--5 days later. Additional information about the Great American Smokeout is available from ACS, telephone 1-800-227-2345.

The likelihood of quitting smoking permanently is increased when effective therapies are used (4). Telephone quitlines exist in only 34 states (5), leaving an estimated 14 million U.S. smokers without access to state-based services in their home states. The American Legacy Foundation is working with CDC to provide quitline funding for up to five additional states.


  1. CDC. Cigarette smoking among adults---United States, 2001. MMWR 2003;52:953--6.
  2. CDC. Tobacco use among middle and high school students---United States, 2002. MMWR 2003;52:1096--98.
  3. CDC. Cigarette smoking among adults---United States, 2000. MMWR 2002;51:642--5.
  4. Fiore MC, Bailey WC, Cohen SJ, et al. Treating tobacco use and dependence: clinical practice guideline. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 2000; DHHS publication no. (AHRQ)00-0032.
  5. Tobacco Control Research Branch. Talk to an expert: find help in your state. Bethesda, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, 2003. Available at

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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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This page last reviewed 11/13/2003