Join the Great American Smokeout on November 17

For over 40 years the Great American Smokeout, observed annually on the third Thursday of November, has served as a starting point for the journey to a smoke-free life.

For some, it's the day they quit smoking. For others, it's the day they make a plan that will help them reach that goal in the future.

Whichever route they choose, people who are trying to quit smoking need tools, resources, and, perhaps most importantly, encouragement. The Great American Smokeout is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the help that is available.

Why Should I Quit?

Smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world, causing an estimated 480,000 deaths each year. That's about 1 in every 5 deaths that occur worldwide.

As difficult as it is to give up smoking, it's a decision that pays off within minutes. The longer you stay smoke-free, the more your health is likely to improve. This video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spells out the health benefits you can look forward to:


How Do I Quit?

First of all, know that it's not going to be easy. But, if you start your journey with a good plan in place and solid support around you, you can succeed.

You don't have to do it alone, and you don't have to do it "cold turkey." Getting help through counseling and medications doubles or even triples your chances of quitting successfully. Fortunately, there are good, free options available for those who want to quit.

The Alabama Tobacco Quitline is a free telephone and online coaching service available to any Alabama citizen who is ready to quit tobacco. Coaching and counseling sessions are confidential and scheduled at your convenience. Those who are medically eligible can receive up to 8 weeks of nicotine patches to assist in quitting. Visit the Alabama Tobacco Quitline for more information.

Those outside of Alabama can call 1-800 Quit Now (1-800-784-8669) for information on help in your area. also offers free resources, including apps and text programs, designed to provide support and encouragement to those who want to quit smoking.