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Thursday is Great American Smokeout

Public health holiday aims to curb tobacco use nationwide

Daily Light report

The Great American Smokeout is an annual nationwide public health holiday that encourages smokers to begin their journey toward a smoke-free life. It was created by the American Cancer Society in 1977 to change attitudes about smoking, lead community programs and establish smoke-free laws that are now saving American lives all across the country.

Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. In fact, smoking causes about 480,000 deaths every year or an estimated 1 in 5 deaths, along with an additional 16 million Americans living with a smoking-related illness.

Giving up smoking is a journey, and it can be a hard one, but good planning and support can heavily increase chances of success. Quitting improves health both immediately and over the long term, regardless of age or how long someone has been smoking. Counseling and medications can also increase chances of success.

If you or someone you love is ready to quit using tobacco, please visit www.smokefree.gov or call the Texas Quitline at (1-877-YES-QUIT) for more information.