Nov. 21 is The Great American Smokeout — A Great Day to Quit

Online Staff Report

The third Thursday of November annually marks the Great American Smokeout.

Initiated by the American Cancer Society, the Great American Smokout encourages smokers to quit smoking — for at least one day — and to consider quitting long-term.

Still the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the U.S., smoking kills hundreds of thousands here — nearly 6 million worldwide — each year. And another 8.4 million are hospitalized in the U.S. each year with smoking-related illnesses.

Although it can be very difficult to quit smoking, there are a variety of resources and programs — many of them totally free — to help smokers do so. Call the Winnebago County Health Department at (815) 720-4269 for information about professionally-led quit programs and resources available locally. Or, call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline at 1-866-QUIT-YES (784-8937) and talk with their trained counselors who will provide phone assistance and materials to assist smokers in quitting.

Don’t forget that more than 47 million of your fellow Americans have been able to quit. Only about 18 percent of adults continue to smoke today, down from nearly 50 percent in the 1960s. Move into the holidays and the New Year by quitting this habit. Make 2014 your best year ever to improve your health for your family, your friends, and most of all, for yourself.

Posted Nov. 21, 2013

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