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The Great American Smokeout

By Edited Sep 12, 2014 3 5

Stop Smoking and Improve Your Health

Stop Smoking Today

Put down that cigarette, throw away the pack, and stop smoking today! You will be amazed at how quickly your health can improve, if you stop smoking.

Every fall, on the third Thursday in November, the American Cancer Society, the Food and Drug Administration, and the American Lung Association promote The Great American Smokeout. This annual event is an attempt to encourage the 45.8 million Americans who still smoke to stop for one day. Of course, everyone hopes they will realize that, if they can quit for one day, they can quit permanently. At the very least, it will help people realize that it really is possible to stop. Because of The Great American Smokeout, you may hear of events in your community or at your local mall that are being held to provide support for people who are willing to try to quit smoking, even for a day! If there are no events planned for your area, you may want to contact the American Cancer Society or your local hospital to see if you can organize an event yourself.

You don't have to wait until November however.  There are many products that can help you get started now.  You can even use this direct Amazon link to buy NicoDerm patches online in the privacy of your home.  No one has to know that you are trying to quit ... until you have managed to succeed!

The History of the The Great American Smokeout

In 1971, a man named Arthur Mullaney, who lived in Randolph, Massachusetts, suggested that people give up cigarettes for a day, and donate the money to a local high school. Picking up on that idea, Lynn Smith of the Montecello Times in Monticello, Minnesota promoted "Don't Smoke Day" in her community. These events were just held locally, with no thought to expanding them nationwide.

That began to change within a few years, as the idea caught on. The first official Great American Smokeout was held in California on November 18, 1976. It was promoted by the California division of the American Cancer Society, and has been held annually since that date. Today, the Smokeout has become a national event. It is now also sponsored by the Federal Food and Drug Administration's Office of Women's Health, the American Cancer Society, and the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products. It is a nationwide event that hopes to promote healthier lifestyles, and reduce cancer.

There are many Health Benefits when you Quit Smoking

According to the FDA, within 24 hours of quitting smoking, you will actually become measurably healthier, since your blood pressure will go down. Within a month, your blood circulation and breathing will improve. By the time you have quit smoking for one year, you will have cut your risk of heart disease in half. These are dramatic improvements in health!

In addition, people who quit smoking will significantly decrease their chances of getting lung cancer, which kills more women than breast cancer. Sadly, nearly all lung cancer is caused by smoking, even when the victim is a non-smoker. When non-smokers develop lung cancer, it is usually as a result of having been exposed to secondhand smoke from the people they live with. Even if you don't quit for your own health, think about the lives of the people you love.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer? You should suspect that you may have lung cancer if you suffer from chest pain, have difficulty breathing, experience hoarseness, and develop frequent lung infections. If you are experiencing these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Don't Rely on Light Cigarettes

Cigarettes that are advertised as being light, mild or filtered have been shown to have no benefit to the smoker. They do not result in a reduced risk of developing cancer or other smoking related illnesses. They do not make it easier for smokers to quit. They are no healthier than smoking regular cigarettes.

E-Cigarettes Also Contain Toxins

Some people have switched to e-cigarettes because they believe that vaping is safer.  While it is true that this nicotine delivery system may have fewer toxins than traditional cigarettes, they still contain a potent form of nicotine, which is toxic in large doses.  In addition, scientists do not know if using e-cigarettes will reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease and other health problems. 

It is better to be safe than sorry ... and avoid all types of nicotine products.

How You Can Stop Smoking Permanently

First, if you want to quit smoking, you will want to get the support of the people around you. Find someone you can talk with who has managed to successfully quit. They will be able to encourage you, and let you know what to expect. They will also offer you support when you feel like giving up.

The government also provides services that may make it easier for you to quit smoking. For example, you may want to go to Smokefree.gov, which is a web site dedicated to helping people quit. Another option is to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, which is a free phone service with coaches who will talk to you and give you encouragement and suggestions on how you can quit smoking or chewing tobacco. The government also offers a number of brochures which you can request either on their web site, or when you call.

Health organizations also offer guides that will help you quit smoking. You may want to contact the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, or the American Lung Association to request information from them.

However, all the information you may need could be as close as your local drugstore or Amazon.com. You may want to consider using over-the-counter nicotine replacement products to help you quit smoking. They are available as gum, patches and other products. You may want to experiment or talk with others to decide which product you believe will work best for you. The nicotine replacement products come with brochures that offer suggestions intended to support your efforts to quit.

If you believe that these products will help, you can use this direct link to NicoDerm patches on Amazon.com.  Amazon sells other nicotine replacement products, too, as well as books to help you with your efforts to quit.

Your doctor may also be able to help by prescribing one of the drugs that are now available that will reduce your craving for cigarettes, without using a nicotine replacement. These drugs allow you to continue smoking until you gradually lose the desire.

Whatever approach you decide to try, do not get discouraged. It has been proven that most smokers try to quit several times before they finally succeed. So, keep trying. Eventually, you can stop, too!

Use the Great American Smokeout to Stop Smoking

Whether you decide to go cold turkey, use a nicotine replacement product, or try a non-nicotine tobacco cessation prescription medicine, you can use the Great American Smokeout to launch yourself into a healthier future. Not only will you be helping yourself, but you will be helping your spouse, children and anyone else you live with or spend time around.

Other articles that may help you are:

Danger from Light Cigarettes

Products to Help You Quit Smoking

Photo courtesy of photoxpress.com

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You can purchase your nicotine patches from the privacy of your home. A great way to help you reduce your urge to smoke.


Nov 7, 2010 7:21pm
Thanks for this excellent reminder. I wasn't aware there was phone support! Fabulous!
Nov 8, 2010 2:13am
Thank you for a great article about why smoking is a bad idea; - and how to give up cigarettes.
Apr 5, 2011 4:16pm
Give it a like. Great article.
Jun 29, 2014 9:03am
I have linked this to a discussion on e-cigarettes. They also have the nicotine danger! Good article, thumbs up.
Jun 29, 2014 5:26pm
Thank you so much for linking my article to a discussion on e-cigarettes. I agree that they also have a nicotine danger and people are just deceiving themselves into thinking they are OK.
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