Great American Smokeout —November 17, 2016

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The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout is an annual event that encourages smokers to make a plan to quit or to plan in advance and quit smoking on that day (1). The 41st annual Great American Smokeout will be held on November 17, 2016.

In the more than 50 years since the Surgeon General’s first report on smoking and health, cigarette smoking among U.S. adults has been reduced by approximately half. However, since 1964, an estimated 20 million persons have died because of smoking, which remains the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States (2).

About two out of three adult smokers want to quit smoking cigarettes, and approximately half of smokers made a quit attempt in the preceding year (2). However, in 2015, an estimated 15.1% of U.S. adults (approximately 36.5 million persons) were current cigarette smokers (3). Getting effective help through counseling and medications can increase the chances of quitting by as much as threefold (4).

Additional information and support for quitting smoking is available by telephone at 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669). CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers campaign offers additional quit resources at


  1. American Cancer Society. The Great American Smokeout. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2016.
  2. US Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of smoking—50 years of progress: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2014.
  3. Jamal A, King BA, Neff LJ, Whitmill J, Babb SD, Graffunder CM. Current cigarette smoking among adults—United States, 2005–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1205–11.
  4. The Clinical Practice Guideline Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence 2008 Update Panel, Liaisons, and Staff. Treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update. Clinical practice guideline. Respir Care 2008;53:1217–22. PubMed

Suggested citation for this article: Great American Smokeout —November 17, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1205. DOI:

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