Great American Smokeout
Great American Smokeout:
Observed every 3rd Thursday in November, the Great American Smokeout was dedicated to encouraging Cigarette Smokers to quit Smoking for 24 hours and donate the money for students’ college scholarships. Smoking is a rising concern globally and in the U.S. alone 1 in 7 people smoke! So this day encourages people to look at helping people and helping themselves from this otherwise deadly nicotine addiction!
|2020||19th November||Thursday||United States|
|2021||18th November||Thursday||United States|
|2022||17th November||Thursday||United States|
Why Great American Smokeout?
Before the 1970s, people smoked anywhere and how many ever they wanted. It was also a time when the negative effects of smoking among the general public were not well known.
The Great American Smokeout was initiated in 1970, in Randolph, Massachusetts, when a High School counselor Arthur P. Mullaney suggested people quit smoking for a day and donate the money they use to buy cigarettes to a local high school as a scholarship fund.
Following suit, in 1974, the first ‘Don’t Smoke Day’ was led by a newspaper editor Lynn R. Smith.
Then on November 18th,1976, with vigorous marketing strategies, the American Cancer Society (California division) was able to get nearly 1 million people to not smoke for the day marking the first official “ Smokeout Day”.
However, the American Cancer Society took the Smokeout to a National level in 1977 where it changed the view of people on Cigarettes and Smoking dramatically.
Since then many workspaces and public places don’t allow smoking in public to protect non-cigarette smokers and people trying to quit smoking.
Between the 1980s and 1990s, many local and state governments limited cigarette promotions, increased tax, limited promotions, unfavoured cigarette use among teens and other actions to counter smoking practices. There was approximately a 42% decrease in smoking rate among adults wherever strict laws against tobacco were imposed.
Though smoking has lowered, still a significant 48 million Americans smoke tobacco and nearly half of the smokers face smoking-related illnesses and deaths.
The U.S. alone records an annual death of 480,000 people i.e., 1 in 5 die due to smoking-related issues.
Thus the Great American Smokeout raises awareness on avoidable deaths and diseases caused by smoking.
How Can We Observe the Great American Smokeout?
- Quit Smoking for the Day
The best way to observe this day is by not smoking today and donate the amount you spend on Cigarettes for students’ scholarship fund.
- Help a friend or family member to quit smoking
If someone in your family or friend circle is struggling with smoking habits, help them to quit smoking slowly and steadily. You can also take help from deaddiction centers or any other resources to equip yourself to help them in the right way.
- Learn more about the hazards of smoking
If you are not aware of what smoking can do, observe this day by gaining more knowledge about tobacco and its ill effects on human health. You might also find the concept of passive smoking interesting!
- Share your thoughts on Social Media
Observe this day, by sharing your thoughts about the Great American Smokeout and encourage friends and family to give up smoking and donate the money for a good cause. You may write a blog or come up with an interesting video to share on social media using hashtag #GreatAmericanSmokeout
- Look for help if you finally want to give up smoking
If you Smoke a lot, consider this day to quit smoking and enjoy all the goodness life has to offer. Quitting Smoking is easy for some and difficult for others, so either way help is available to get you through! So seek help today! You may use self-help books too.
Interesting Facts About Great American Smokeout:
Here are a few interesting facts surrounding smoking for observing your Great American Smokeout!
- The life expectancy on an average is 10 years lesser for a smoker than a non-smoker
- You can find 7000 chemicals in cigarette smoke out of which 70 are responsible for cancer.
- Studies show that 9 out 10 smokers started smoking before 18 years of age and most of them actively smoke by the time they reach the age of 26
- Smoking makes way for various lung diseases, heart disease, cancer, and stroke!
History Of Great American Smokeout:
The first Great American Smokeout was officially organized on November 18th, 1976. It was organized by the California Division of the American Cancer Society. It became a national event in 1977.
However, the reasons for observing it on every third Thursday in November is unknown.