Great American Smokeout

Today is the 31st annual nationwide Great American Smokeout. The Smokeout is always the third Thursday in November, one week before Thanksgiving. The Smokeout encourages smokers to abstain from smoking for 24 hours. It seems simple, and it’s hard to see how a one day quit can lead to smoking cessation. But the Smokeout is an important part of a process of quitting. Most smokers want to quit smoking, and most try to quit several times before succeeding — it’s as if they have to “practice” quitting before they get it right. The Smokeout generates thousands of practice quits and helps people take one more step toward their final quit.

The Smokeout also helps people create a plan for quitting. Most smokers who successfully quit do so with a plan. The plan varies from person to person, and might involve buying quit aids like the patch; talking to doctors, friends or ministers; joining a gym; getting accupuncture treatments or any number of things. It almost doesn’t matter what the plan is, but it’s crucially important to have one. A key part of any quit plan is a quit date. The Smokeout encourages many smokers to create a quit plan and choose a quit date, even if it isn’t the date of the Smokeout itself.

Do you want to quit smoking or help someone close to you quit? Based on current science, the most successful way to quit is to use some form of quit medication and counseling. Using medication or counseling alone is better than nothing, but combining them is potently effective in helping people quit. Medications vary widely, including prescription pills, nicotine patches, or inhalers. How can you find medication and counseling? Every state in the US has a telephone tobacco cessation quitline, with free counseling available. Just call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Services vary by state, but many states will help you get medication. It’s free and it works.

More about the Smokeout can be found here:
Put out your butts (Seattle Times)
Great American is Perfect Time to Quit (Business Wire)
Accept the Smokeout Challenge (American Cancer Society)

Posted on November 15th, 2007 by Katxena