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Great American Smokeout --- November 19, 2009

Although the United States has made great strides toward reducing the prevalence of smoking, approximately 46 million adults (20.6% of the population) still smoke (1), and every day, another 1,000 young persons become new smokers (2). Annually, smoking results in 440,000 deaths and $193 billion in health-care costs and lost productivity (3). November 19 marks the 33rd anniversary of the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout. This annual event challenges smokers to quit for at least 1 day and provides information resources to help them quit permanently.

Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits, including reduced risk for heart disease and certain cancers. Successful quitting often takes several tries. To improve success, smokers should use proven cessation treatments and services, including health-care guidance, approved medications, and cessation counseling. Combining counseling and medications can more than double cessation success. More information about the Great American Smokeout is available at, and free help for quitting smoking is available by calling 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) or visiting


  1. CDC. Cigarette smoking among adults and trends in smoing cessation---United States, 2008. MMWR 2009;58:1227--32.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: detailed tables, 4-10A and 4-11A. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Applied Studies; 2009. Available at Accessed November 4, 2009.
  3. CDC. Smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and productivity losses---United States, 2000--2004. MMWR 2008;57:1226--8.

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Date last reviewed: 11/12/2009


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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