Get the Facts Behind the Great American Smokeout

The American Cancer Society marks the 35th Great American Smokeout this Thursday, November 18th, by encouraging smokers to use this date to make a plan to quit. According to a Society report, smokers who quit can expect to live as many as ten years longer (that’s ten more birthdays) than those who continue to smoke.
So there has never been a better time to quit! Take the 2010 Facebook Challenge and pledge to be smoke free.

The goal is to obtain 2,010 pledges in year 2010. Whether you are a smoker or non-smoker, you can take the pledge by going to the fan page at www.facebook.com/2010KansasGASO and clicking the “like” button. Help us get 2,010 pledges in 2010!

Research shows that much of the risk of premature death from smoking could be prevented by quitting. Smokers who quit, regardless of age, live longer than people who continue to smoke. Smokers who quit reduce their risk of lung cancer – ten years after quitting, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. Quitting also lowers the risk for other major diseases including heart disease and stroke.

“Quitting smoking is an important step toward staying well and creating a world with more birthdays,” said Jennifer Taylor, Society health initiatives community manager. “The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout is a great first step toward quitting or making a plan to quit, and the Society can help smokers through a variety of resources including personalized telephone coaching by trained specialists.”

Smokers who want to quit can call the Kansas Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for tobacco cessation and coaching services that can help increase their chances of quitting for good. The Society also has online tools at www.cancer.org/Smokeout, such as a crave button and a quit clock to help smokers plan towards kicking the habit.

The American Cancer Society created the trademarked concept for and held its first Great American Smokeout in 1976 as a way to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for a day.
Important facts about tobacco use:
* Tobacco use remains the world’s most preventable cause of death.
* Cigarette smoking accounts for about 443,000 premature deaths – including 49,400 in nonsmokers.
* Thirty percent of cancer deaths, including 87 percent of lung cancer deaths, can be attributed to smoking.
* Smoking accounts for more than $193 billion in health care expenditures and productivity losses annually.
* 43.4 million Americans still smoke.
* Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death for both men and women.

In Kansas in 2010, an estimated 1,990 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and 1,590 people will die from the disease. 20% of high school students in the US are current cigarette smokers.

Secondhand smoke is estimated to cause approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths nationwide in nonsmokers each year. Of that total, 380 lives will be lost in Kansas due to secondhand smoke.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. To learn more, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.


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