The Great American Smokeout

Millions of Americans are expected to take part in the 30th anniversary of the American Cancer Society's "Great American Smokeout" tomorrow. For three decades, the third Thursday in November has been designated as a day for smokers across the United States quit smoking for the day. Many go on to stay quit for good.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 45.4 million Americans are addicted to nicotine, and about one in four adults and one in five teens in the United States are current smokers. Unless more is done to help them quit, 10 million to 20 million current smokers will eventually die from tobacco-related diseases.

Research tells us that people are more likely to successfully quit if they have some means of support, such as nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medication and/or counseling. Unfortunately, only about 22 percent of current smokers report using any of those therapies during their last shot at quitting.

Tomorrow is a good day to to see what it feels like to quit for a day. However, you don't want to experience withdrawal symptoms so I suggest putting on a nicotine patch tonight. That way you won't wake up in withdrawal and you can spend your day trying out some of the behavioral strategies that reduce cravings.

Check out this website for some of those:

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About the Author

MA, MAppSci, PhD

Dr. Jonathan Foulds is an expert in the field of tobacco addiction.