Great American Smokeout

Great American Smokeout Quick Facts

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2024 DateNovember 21, 2024
2025 DateNovember 20, 2025

Great American Smokeout

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Great American Smokeout History

The Great American Smokeout seeks to encourage smokers to quit or plan to quit smoking. Smoking is a habit involving the consumption of tobacco smoke, which has been shown to cause a variety of cancers, most notably lung and mouth cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of Cancer death in the United States and the most preventable type of cancer worldwide.

The Great American Smokeout is promoted by the American Cancer Society and is held on the third Thursday of November each year in an effort to reduce cases of preventable cancers, reduce secondhand smoke and improve the health of all Americans.

Great American Smokeout facts

  • The holiday began in 1970, when a man in Massachusetts asked people to give up smoking for one day, and donate the money saved to the local high school scholarship fund.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control, smoking is responsible for 1 in 3 cancer-related deaths, and 1 in 5 deaths from any cause. Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year.
  • The Center for Disease Control state that life expectancy for smokers is 10 years less than that of non-smokers.
  • The Center for Disease Control states that a middle-aged man who smokes, triples his risk of dying from some type of heart disease.
  • More Doctors Smoke Camels than Any Other Cigarette - line used in 1949 commercial for Camel Cigarettes.

Top things to do for Great American Smokeout

  • If you are a smoker, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for support in quitting. You can also get help from organizations like and UCanQuit2.
  • Organize a sporting event like soccer or softball as a way to have fun and otherwise help smokers take their minds off of smoking.
  • Talk to someone you know who smokes and challenge them to quit for the day.
  • Give out sugarless gum to otherwise smokers as a friendly gesture to promote an alternative.
  • Watch movies and documentaries that aim to uncover the tobacco industry and impact of tobacco addictions:
    1) The Insider (1999)
    2) Addiction Incorporated (2011)
    3) Dying for a Smoke (1992)
    4) Smoke & Mirrors: A History of Denial (2000)

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