The Great American Smokeout
The Great American Smokeout is observed every year on the third Thursday of November. This event, organized by the American Cancer Society, aims to encourage people in America to quit smoking, or at least make a plan to quit. On this day, smokers are challenged to not smoke for at least 24 hours, in what will hopefully inspire them to take the first step in quitting.
About 34 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths.
While the rates of cigarette smoking have declined over the past several decades, from 42% in 1965 to 14% in 2019, the gains have been inconsistent. Some groups smoke more heavily or at higher rates and suffer disproportionately from smoking-related cancer and other diseases. These populations tend to be those who experience inequities in multiple areas of their lives, including those at lower socioeconomic levels, those without college degrees, American Indians/Alaska natives, African American/Black communities, LGBTQ communities, those in the military, those with behavioral health conditions, and others.
No matter your age or how long you’ve been smoking, quitting improves health both immediately and over the long term. Giving up smoking is a journey, and it can be hard, but you can increase your chances of success with a good plan and support. Getting help through counseling and medications doubles or even triples your chances of quitting successfully.
The Great American Smokeout & Your Oral Health
Every November, the American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout to encourage smokers to quit. As we all know, smoking can lead to serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. To help celebrate the Great American Smokeout and raise awareness of the importance of quitting, we ask Dental Providers raise awareness of the damage that smoking does to the mouth, gums and teeth.
Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the United States, despite a significant decline in the number of people who smoke. Over 16 million Americans have at least one disease caused by smoking. This amounts to $170 billion in direct medical costs that could be saved every year if we could prevent youth from starting to smoke and help every person who smokes to quit.
In 2019, 36.5% of US high school youth reported currently using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Among US high school youth, 6.0% reported currently smoking cigarettes.