Each year, smokers throughout the nation who think about ditching their unhealthy habit join the ‘Great American Smokeout’. Many of them choose this day as their quit smoking date, with hope of becoming cigarette-free for the rest of their lives. This annual activity is spearheaded by the American Cancer Society, and is held every third Thursday of November.
Great American Smokeout – A Brief History
The first Great American Smokeout was held on November 16, 1977 in San Francisco’s Union Square. This activity evolved from smaller-scale initiatives, which were all aimed to reduce the rising rate of smoking in the country and save more lives from the debilitating effects of tobacco use. On November 18, 1976, the American Cancer Society successfully encouraged nearly one million smokers to quit. Since then, the Great American Smokeout was annually held to prompt more tobacco users to quit.
In various towns and communities, local volunteers and organizations use this day to raise awareness, publicize the need to quit, tap government authorities to implement stricter laws and policies, discourage the youth from attempting to smoke, and support people who are looking to quit.
Quit Smoking Tips from the World’s Experts
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are currently 46 million smokers in the country. Tobacco use accounts for one in five deaths, and 70 percent of smokers who attempt to quit experience a relapse. What’s worse, it takes 10 attempts for an average smoker to finally quit for good.
Here are among the best tips from the world’s leading experts about quitting smoking. If you’re one of the millions who will take part in this year’s Great American Smokeout which will be held tomorrow, November 21st, you might find these tips useful:
- Consider quitting on a Monday. Some experts believe that the success in quitting smoking greatly depends on the day of the week smokers decide to quit. And among the days of the week, the best time is most probably Monday. According to Dr. Thomas Glynn of the American Cancer Society, there’s logic to it. He said it’s good to pick a time that you are busy, and Monday is ideal. It’s also the beginning of the week which gives us a sense of a ‘fresh new start’.
- Find a reason to stop smoking. Dr. Glynn also pointed out that smokers should assess their level of commitment in quitting. Reasons to stop smoking could be endless. It could be to save more money, protect your child’s health, look better, or perhaps – live longer.
- Get treated. According to Dr. John Hughes from the University of Vermont, the best thing to do is to seek professional treatment. He emphasized that the ‘reversibility’ of smoking effects is linked to how long one has smoked. He added that people who quit in their 30s are more likely to completely reverse the harmful effects of smoking because the body is still very much capable of repairing itself at this time.
- Take the right medications. Dr. Hughes recommends talking to your doctor to know your options to quit smoking. There are different quit-smoking products available in the market today. Choose the medications that do not contain nicotine because this chemical (which makes cigarettes addictive) still has harmful effects to health.
- Know where to seek help. Research shows that smokers are more likely to succeed in quitting when they have the support, such as:
- Phone-based smoking cessation lines
- Prescription medications
- Stop-smoking groups
- Self-help books
- Social support (from family and friends)
Tomorrow might be the day you have been waiting for to finally ditch your smoking habit. Don’t miss the chance. Do yourself a favor. Stop smoking now and welcome a healthier and better life ahead!