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November 16, 2022

Use the Great American Smokeout to start your health journey 


Twelve hours after you stop using tobacco, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. A year after you become a quitter for good, your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.

Each year, the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout is observed on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, which is Nov. 17 this year. By planning ahead and making a commitment not to use tobacco for one day, users can build on their success and quit for better health, more money in their wallets and a break from their dependence on a toxic habit.

The Florida Department of Health in PInellas County (DOH-Pinellas) encourages all tobacco users to take this first step toward a healthier life on Nov. 17.

In America, 34 million adults still smoke. Rates are higher in certain disadvantaged communities that are often targeted by tobacco companies in ads and social media. Making the decision to quit for a day during the Great American Smokeout requires planning and support, so it’s important to come up with a game plan now:

  • Enlist friends and loved ones to help you. Their support will get you through difficult times and hold you accountable.
  • Identify your tobacco triggers. Do you always light up after a meal, when you’re anxious, when you relax with a favorite program or book?
  • Stock up on healthy snacks such as carrot sticks, popcorn or dried fruit. When you feel the urge to smoke, stop for a healthy bite instead.
  • Tell yourself you’re only doing it for 24 hours to take the pressure off. After a day that’s smoke-free, assess how well you did and how you can keep your new healthy habit on a roll.
The American Cancer Society has an online toolkit with tips, information and resources to help you take part in the Great American Smokeout. Go to Great American Smokeout | American Cancer Society to check it out or call (800) 227-2345 for cancer information and answers.

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