By now, Americans are familiar with this important event that takes place every year on the third Thursday in November:  the Great American Smokeout!    This is the 35th year that the American Cancer Society has sponsored this campaign.  On November 18th, smokers and tobacco users are asked to put down those cigarettes, cigars, snuff, and chewing tobacco for that whole day, and hopefully, many days to follow. 

There’s no doubt that the use of tobacco causes some types of cancer.  Here are some disturbing facts from the American Cancer Society:

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2010)
  • Lung cancer is the most preventable form of cancer death in our society. (Source: Cancer Facts and Figures 2010)
  • Lung cancer estimates for 2010 (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2010):
  • New cases of lung cancer:  222,520 Males: 116,750
    Females: 105,770

             Deaths from lung cancer: 157,300

             Males: 86,220
             Females: 71,080

  • Besides lung cancer, tobacco use also causes increased risk for cancers of the mouth, lips, nasal cavity (nose) and sinuses, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterine cervix, and acute myeloid leukemia. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2010)
  • In the United States, tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths; this equaled about 443,00 early deaths each year from 2000 to 2004. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2010)

Not only the cost to ones’ health may be involved, but the financial expense as well, should be considered.  If you multiplied how much you spend each day on this habit, times how much is spent a year, think about what you could do with that much money in five or ten years?  Put the actual amount of money somewhere in a safe place.  You will reap the benefits later, as well as improving your health.

It has been reported that in 2012 the packaging on cigarettes will depict cancer patients and warnings of the dangers of smoking.  Some smokers interviewed said they’d probably keep on smoking despite the graphic warnings.  Let’s encourage everyone we care about who has this habit to get serious about their health.

We hope this information will help at least one person consider taking the necessary steps to make their life tobacco-free.  As with any habit, it will be hard to stop, but there are ways to make it easier.  There are many websites with all kinds of helpful advice.  Non-smokers should do all they can to encourage their friends and family members to make the commitment to stop. 

Please, don’t be a statistic!