Many people may not notice that the third Thursday of November,
which this year falls on November 20th, is designated as the Great American
Smokeout, an annual event that encourages smokers to quit for at least one day.
The Great American Smokeout originates from a small town
event in Massachusetts in 1971 in which high school guidance counselor Arthur
Mullaney asked people to give up smoking cigarettes for one day and donate the
money they would spend on cigarettes to a college scholarship fund.
In 1974, Lynn Smith, editor of Minnesota's Monticello
Times organized the state's first observance of the "don't smoke
day". Then 1976, The California division of the American Cancer Society picked
the idea and ultimately re-christened the event the Great American Smokeout.
The campaign is aimed to raise awareness of the many
effective ways to quit forever and hopefully increase the likelihood of
permanent cessation. It has been said that probably millions of adults are convinced
to observe this D-day each year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, currently about 44 million of Adults or one in every five are
Smoking and exposure to tobacco
smoke result in about 443,000 premature deaths in the United States each year.
The interventions that prove effective in helping people
quit smoking tobacco include assistance from a healthcare provider,
FDA-approved medications and behavioral counseling.
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