Annual Great American Smokeout Draws Near

November 20, 2008, marks the American Cancer Society's 32nd annual Great American Smokeout, an event raises awareness of the many effective ways to quit for good and encourages smokers to quit for at least one day in the hope that this might challenge them to stop using tobacco permanently.

Approximately 43.4 million (or one in five) American adults are current smokers, and smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke result in approximately 443,000 premature deaths in the United States annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC says smoking cessation has substantial and immediate health benefits, and smokers who use proven interventions (e.g., assistance from a health care provider, pharmacotherapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and behavioral counseling) greatly increase their likelihood of quitting permanently.

Smokers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and certain U.S. territories who want help in quitting can telephone 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) for free telephone counseling or referrals.

More information is available at www.cancer.org/docroot/ped/ped_10_4.asp. Advice on how to quit smoking is available at www.smokefree.gov.

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