Great American Smokeout

Thursday was the 28th annual Great American Smokeout. The American Cancer Society asked folks across the country to go cold turkey for the day.

As part of the celebration, physicians offered free carbon monoxide screening and pulmonary function testing at the Colonial Mall in Greenville.

The American Cancer Society estimates each year 440,000 people die in the U.S. from tobacco use. Extended Web Coverage

The Great American Smokeout: Thursday, Nov. 18

  • Quitters will find camaraderie and support on Nov. 18 when thousands of Americans avoid tobacco use for the day or for good.

  • For 25 years more smokers have kicked the habit during the Great American Smokeout than any other day of the year.

  • The concept dates from the early '70s when Lynn Smith, publisher of the Monticello Times of Minnesota, announced the first observance and called it "D Day."

  • The idea caught on in state after state until in 1977, it went nationwide under the sponsorship of the American Cancer Society.

  • If past Smokeouts are any indication, as many as one-third of the nation's 46 million smokers could be taking the day off from smoking.


  • You just quit smoking for the 24 hours of the Smokeout.

  • The wonderful thing is that you won't be alone; you can swap advice, jokes and groans with the other "quitters," nonsmokers and the American Cancer Society volunteers who will be cheering you on.

  • Even if you don't go on to quit permanently, you will have learned that you can quit for a day and that many others around you are taking the step, too.

American Cancer Society

  • Behind the festivities of the Great American Smokeout are thousands of hard-working American Cancer Society volunteers who visit schools, malls and workplaces to publicize the events and distribute information about quitting.

  • ACS also enlists nonsmokers to "adopt" smokers for the day, supporting them with advice and snacks. The support continues for those who decide not to return to smoking after the Great American Smokeout is over.

Source: (American Cancer Society Web site) contributed to this report.