The annual Great American Smokeout, a day when smokers are strongly encouraged to quit, occurs on the third Thursday of November.

ACS Marks 2014 Great American Smokeout

The annual day on which smokers are strongly encouraged to quit occurs on the third Thursday of November.

The American Cancer Society is marking 2014's Great American Smokeout today, urging smokers to use the day to make a plan to quit. By quitting even for one day, smokers will take an important step toward a healthier life that can lead to reduced cancer risk, according to the society. It says tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, yet about 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — slightly fewer than one in every five adults. As of 2012, there were also 13.4 million cigar smokers in the United States and 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes.

The society offers many resources for people trying to quit, including a downloadable Guide to Quitting Smoking available here.

The society recommends that doctors discuss lung cancer screening with people who are at high risk for developing the disease and help them make an informed decision about whether to get a computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan. Those who decide to get screened should get a scan every year through age 74, as long as they are still healthy. To be in the high-risk category, patients must be aged 55 to 74 years, have a smoking history equivalent to a pack a day for 30 years, and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

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