On Thursday, November 19th, BAMSI Locations are Going Smoke Free.
The Great American Smokeout is November 19th. BAMSI offices and programs will be implementing smoke & tobacco free campuses across its network of program and office locations. To ensure the safety and well-being of persons served and our staff, BAMSI will be working to support those who wish to quit smoking yet will continue to allow persons served who smoke to continue to do so.
What is the Great American Smokeout?
Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. They may use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. The Great American Smokeout event challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps people know about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay quit.
In many towns and communities, local volunteers use this event to publicize the need to quit, and press for laws that control tobacco use and discourage teens from starting, and support people who want to quit.
It’s hard to quit tobacco.
Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support, such as:
Using two or more of these measures listed above to quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone. For example, some people use a prescription medicine along with nicotine replacement. Other people may use as many as 3 or 4 of the methods listed above.
Telephone stop-smoking hotlines are an easy-to-use resource, and they are available in all 50 states.
Call 1-800-227-2345 to get more information on quitting tobacco and to find telephone counseling or other support in your area. You can also learn more in our “Stay Away from Tobacco” section.
How the Great American Smokeout began
The Smokeout event has helped dramatically change Americans’ attitudes about smoking. These changes have led to community programs and smoke-free laws that are now saving lives in many states. Annual Great American Smokeout events began in the 1970’s, when smoking and secondhand smoke were commonplace.
The idea for the Great American Smokeout grew from a 1970 event in Randolph, Massachusetts, at which Arthur P. Mullaney asked people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money they would have spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund. Then in 1974, Lynn R. Smith, editor of the Monticello Times in Minnesota, spearheaded the state’s first D-Day, or Don’t Smoke Day.
The idea caught on, and on November 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society got nearly 1 million smokers to quit for the day. That California event marked the first Great American Smokeout, and the Society took the program nationwide in 1977. Since then, there have been dramatic changes in the way society views tobacco advertising and tobacco use. Many public places and work areas are now smoke-free – this protects non-smokers and supports smokers who want to quit.
The Great American Smokeout event helps fuel new laws and save lives.
Each year, the Great American Smokeout event also draws attention to the deaths and chronic diseases caused by smoking. Throughout the late 1980’s and 1990’s, many state and local governments responded by banning smoking in workplaces and restaurants, raising taxes on cigarettes, limiting cigarette promotions, discouraging teen cigarette use, and taking further action to counter smoking. These efforts continue today.
Because of individuals and groups that have led anti-tobacco efforts, there have been significant landmarks in the areas of research, policy, and the environment:
Those states with strong tobacco control laws are now reaping the fruits of their labor. From 1965 to today, cigarette smoking among adults in the United States decreased from more than 42% to around 18%. Strong smoke-free policies, media campaigns, and increases in the prices of tobacco products are at least partly credited for these decreases.
Still, today about 1 in 5 US adults smoke cigarettes (that’s more than 43.6 million people). Nearly 15 million people smoke tobacco in cigars or pipes. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women. About 87% of lung cancer deaths in men and 70% in women are thought to result from smoking. Smoking also causes cancers of the larynx (voice box), mouth, sinuses, pharynx (throat), esophagus (swallowing tube), and bladder. It also has been linked to the development of cancers of the pancreas, cervix, ovary (mucinous), colon/rectum, kidney, stomach, and some types of leukemia. Cigars and pipes cause cancers, too.
Smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the US. Another 8.6 million people live with serious illnesses caused by smoking.
Fortunately, the past few decades have seen great strides in changing attitudes about smoking, understanding nicotine addiction, and learning how to help people quit. Today, the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout event is celebrated with rallies, parades, stunts, quitting information, and even “cold turkey” menu items in schools, workplaces, Main Streets, and legislative halls throughout the US.
Visit www.cancer.org to learn more about quitting smoking, improving your health, or getting involved with the Great American Smokeout in your community.