The American Cancer Society is kicking off its “Great American Smokeout” campaign encouraging smokers to quit smoking once and for all. The annual event takes place on Thursday, November 26 this year and seeks to help smokers kick the habit, for at least one day.
Smoking cigarettes is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in America, and has been for decades. In that time, it has killed more people than firearms, obesity, sbustance abuse, infectious disease, and traffic accidents, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. And per the Department of Health, every year Almost half a million Americans die from smoking-related ilnesses
Bryan Hannon, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN), said:
We know that seven out of every ten smokers want to quit, so this is an important tool to help them do that. More importantly, it’s going to also help youth avoid tobacco use and never start that deadly habit.
The cost of smoking isn’t just health-related, it’s financial. According to experts, healthcare related to smoking can cost around 300 billion dollars.
The rising price of cigarettes is helping bring down usage, according to the latest figures from the government. Still, statistics from the National Health Interview Survey, released by the CDC, show about 15 percent of U.S. adults smoke.
That’s the lowest rate reported since the survey began in 1997, when the percentage was higher and sat at 25 percent. Going back further, it is estimated that around 42 percent of adults in 1965 smoked.
While that percentage is shrinking overall, the figure remains high for many vulnerable populations like those who live below the poverty line, the less educated, and uninsured adults. More than 50 years after the U.S. surgeon general warned Americans about the dangers of smoking for the first time, it is still responsible for nearly one in five deaths.