The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet about 43.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — Nearly 1 in every 5 adults. As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the US, and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.
Founded in 1970, the Great American Smokeout also draws attention to the deaths and chronic diseases caused by smoking. Still, today about 1 in 5 US adults smoke cigarettes (that’s more than 43 million people). And about 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 are thought to result from smoking. Smoking also causes cancers of the larynx (voice box), mouth, 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 3 cancer deaths, and 1 in 5 deaths from all causes. Another 8.6 million people live with serious illnesses caused by smoking.
If you or a family member smokes cigarettes or tobacco, the Great American Smokeout is a perfect occasion to encourage quitting for one day or signing up with a smoking cessation program. Statistics show that those smokers who join a group activity or seek help to quit smoking are more successful at quitting completely. Call Syracuse Community Health Center to learn more about our Smoking Cessation program. Make an appointment today by calling us at 315-476-7921. From all of us here at Syracuse Community Health Center have a Happy, bountiful Thanksgiving Day!