Nov. 17 is the 36th Annual Great American Smokeout

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today urged Illinois smokers to “Call it Quits” by participating in the Great American Smokeout and making a plan to quit smoking, or to quit smoking altogether today.

This year marks the American Cancer Society’s 36th annual Great American Smokeout, observed every third Thursday in November each year to encourage smokers to quit, and offer healthy lifestyle tips. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, although more than 46 million Americans still smoke. However, more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year.

In Illinois, 21 percent of adults over 18 – more than 2 million residents – are smokers, and 10 percent of youths between ages 12-17, smoke. Approximately 16,000 Illinoisans die of smoking-related diseases, and smoking costs the state about $3 billion in direct medical expenditures annually.

“Almost 70 percent of smokers want to quit, and more than half have tried to quit,” said Acting Director Dr. Craig Conover. “I encourage smokers who want to quit to try again, and to use the Great American Smokeout and all the resources available to make a plan for quitting that will give them the greatest chance for success. The immediate health benefits of quitting are substantive.”