Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: Great American Smokeout Marks 38th Year of Smokers Kicking the Habit

Great American Smokeout Marks 38th Year of Smokers Kicking the Habit

Project Manager

Today is the 38th Great American Smokeout, which is charmingly abbreviated to GASO. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, it occurs every year on the third Thursday of November and serves as a way to encourage smokers to either take the day to make their quit plan or plan ahead of time to quit on GASO. The idea behind GASO is that by putting down their cigarettes, even for just one day, "smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life--one that can lead to reducing cancer risk."


Quitting smoking can help everyone, regardless of their age or how long they have smoked, to live longer and healthier; quitting smoking can add up to 10 years to a person's life! Tobacco use is still the greatest preventable cause of premature death and disease in the United States and worldwide. Although most people know how dangerous it is to smoke cigarettes, nearly 1 in 5 adult Americans smoke (that's more than 43 million people!). Smoking not only negatively impacts the health of the smoker but also the people around them; secondhand smoke causes more than 600,000 deaths worldwide.


GASO isn't just a great time for smokers to quit--it's also a great time to support those in your life who are ready to quit and to encourage them along the way. This year, the American Cancer Society has come up a series of fun characters of different ways to quit and to support quitters. They make it clear that there are lots of different ways to quit and to be supportive, but that a few factors remain constant for a successful quit:

  • Making the decision to quit
  • Picking a quit day and making a plan
  • Dealing with withdrawal
  • Staying tobacco free


Studies have shown that using at least two methods of support (be it counseling, nicotine replacement therapy, support groups, prescription drugs, encouragement from loved ones or guidebooks) is more effective than just using one of them alone. If you aren't sure what the best method is for you, you can talk to your health care provider, a pharmacist, or a quitline counselor.


If you need more support to quit smoking, smokers in the United States can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to be connected to a quitline counselor, or can visit one of these websites:,,,


And if you're trying to help someone quit, remember to celebrate your loved one's smokefree successes, be there to listen and offer support, and do your best not to nag, judge, or scold.

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