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Great American Smokeout --- November 16, 2006

Since 1977, the American Cancer Society has sponsored the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday in November to encourage smokers to quit. Approximately 45.1 million (20.9%) U.S. adults were current smokers in 2005 (1). Smokers can improve their chances of quitting by using proven cessation aids such as physician assistance, medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and behavioral counseling, including telephone quitlines (2). All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and certain U.S. territories now have quitlines, which can be reached by telephone: 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669).

Other interventions that increase cessation include increasing the price of tobacco products, implementing sustained media campaigns, and reducing out-of-pocket treatment costs (3). Growing evidence indicates that, in addition to protecting nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke, smoke-free workplace policies and smoke-free home rules help smokers quit (4). Comprehensive approaches are most effective in prompting smokers to make quit attempts and helping them to succeed (3).

Information on the Great American Smokeout is available at or by telephone: 800-227-2345. Information on how to quit smoking is available at


  1. CDC. Tobacco use among adults---United States, 2005. MMWR 2006;55:1145--8.
  2. Fiore MC, Bailey WC, Cohen SJ, et al. Treating tobacco use and dependence: clinical practice guidelines. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service; 2000. AHQR publication 00-0032.
  3. Task Force on Community Preventive Services. The guide to community preventive services: what works to promote health? New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2005.
  4. CDC. The health consequences of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: CDC; 2006.

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Date last reviewed: 11/8/2006


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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