Great American Smokeout

The Great American Smokeout isn’t so much a holiday as it is a day for people to take positive control of their health. It’s a day on which thousands of people take the first step toward living a smoke-free life by giving up cigars and cigarettes. It’s a day that falls on the third Thursday in November and is a great day for any smoker to make changes that will improve their life and health.

The History of The Great American Smokeout

The first Great American Smokeout occurred on November 16, 1977, and was celebrated in San Francisco at Union Square. It was the amalgamation of a series of smaller initiatives that began to pop up all across the U.S. during the 1970s.

November 16th was selected as the day for this event because a year earlier, the California Chapter of the American Cancer Society held an event that prompted over a million Americans to quit for the day.

Why Is Quitting Smoking Important?

It’s been estimated that over 30+ million Americans still smoke cigarettes. That’s a lot of people considering that smoking is one of the single largest preventable causes of death for people all over the world.

It’s been estimated that smoking causes almost half a million deaths per year and that over 15 million Americans are living with a smoking-related disease. Both of those are good reasons for anyone to use the Great American Smokeout as their starting point toward a smoke-free lifestyle.

Additional Facts On Smoking-Related

Since smoking affects so many Americans, it can be quite sobering to look at smoking statistics and some specific smoking-related facts. Below are some of the facts about cigarette smoking and why it’s a good idea to quit.

Cigarettes Contain 7,000+ Chemicals

What few people realize is that cigarettes not only contain nicotine—the main ingredient that makes them addictive—but they also contain a host of other chemicals. Let’s take a quick look at some of the chemicals found in the average cigarette:

  • Ammonia
  • Acetone
  • Arsenic
  • Butane
  • Lead
  • Hexamine
  • Tar
  • Toluene
  • Cadmium
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Benzene

Secondhand Smoke Is Dangerous, Too

Smoking a cigarette doesn’t just impact the person smoking it; it also impacts the people around that person. It’s estimated that secondhand smoke accounts for more than 41,000 deaths per year. Just another reason for people to use the Great American Smokeout to put out their cigarettes and cigars for good.

How To Participate In The Great American Smokeout

The only thing a person has to do to participate in the Great American Smokeout is to quit using tobacco products for the day. With that said, however, many schools have events all over the country. This can include the distribution of anti-smoking literature, having anti-smoking rallies, or holding contests for the creation of the best anti-smoking banner.

When is it?
This year (2024)
November 21 Thursday
Next year (2025)
November 20 Thursday
Last year (2023)
November 23 Thursday
Awareness & Cause