Sunday, November 13, 2016

Annual Great American Smokeout is Thursday, Nov. 17

If you're one of the approximately 1 million Kentucky adults who smoke, and are in the majority who say they'd like to quit, the Great American Smokeout may be for you. It is Thursday, Nov. 17.

The annual event, promoted by the American Cancer Society, doesn't necessarily ask smokers to quit on that day. It encourages them to make a plan to quit, and quit smoking on a certain day. "Getting effective help through counseling and medications can increase the chances of quitting by as much as threefold," says the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The cancer society says, "Encourage someone you know to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. By quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk."

"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," the CDC reports. "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. 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."

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

Kentucky has the nation's second highest smoking rate, 26.5 percent of adults.

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