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When is the Great American Smokeout?

Third Thursday of Every November

Since 1977, the Great American Smokeout has captured the attention of an increasing number of individuals on the third Thursday of November each year. Why? Because they use this day to encourage people to commit to a healthier lifestyle and to fight through the challenges of nicotine withdrawal and cigarette smoking addiction. The American Cancer Society does not claim that quitting smoking is easy, but it does try to make it as easy as possible by offering advice, help, information, and other resources to anybody who is willing to put down the smokes and attempt to break free from the nicotine addiction. The American Cancer Society knows that quitting smoking is a healthy lifestyle change, and taking advantage of the Great American Smokeout to quit smoking is a wonderful opportunity!

History of the Great American Smokeout

No Easy Way To Stop Smoking

Do The Research: There are many serious health risks as a result of cigarette smoking including, but not limited to, emphysema, lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. If you are seriously thinking about quitting smoking, research the diseases caused by cigarette smoking and be sure to look at pictures of diseased lungs and hearts. I looked at pictures and reminded myself that that was what I was doing to my body. I don't want my vital organs to look like that anymore. Trust won't want your vital organs to look like that either.

One great thing about quitting smoking is that within the first hour of quitting smoking one's body starts to heal itself. As each moment passes without the harmful effects of nicotine will begin to diminish. Some of the affects will be longer lasting than others, but it is important to remember that the black lungs were caused by years of smoking, and it will undoubtedly take years of healing for them to recover. No matter how long it takes, quitting smoking is definitely a win-win situation for the body!

Make up Your Mind: If you enjoy smoking (as I did for almost 20 years), you have to make up your mind that the benefits of quitting smoking will far outweigh the pleasures of smoking. Ok, so I might gain some weight when I quit smoking. Therefore, I planned for this by slowly working exercise and better eating habits into my daily routine as a smoker. Once I got the smoking habit kicked, I have tackle a more stringent diet and exercise routine in order to shed the extra pounds. Ok, what about when I'm nervous, stressed, angry, or sad? What about the social situations when "everybody else" is smoking? I made list of every reason I could think of to smoke, and I made up my mind that the benefits of those reasons are not worth the risks, the wretched smell, or the ridiculous amount of money.

Tell Everybody: I started by telling my closest friends and family that I was quitting smoking. As the idea of me as a non-smoker began to sink in with and be accepted by those in my inner circle, I began to tell other friends and family. As I gained confidence in my decision, I began to seek out and tell other friends and acquaintances - especially those who have already quit smoking or are talking about quitting smoking. Then, I told the rest of the world that on Thursday, November 18, 2010, I would resume my journey as a non-smoker thru this blog!

Set A Date: Because I wanted to give myself plenty of time to prepare as much as possible for the mental, physical, and emotional challenges of quitting smoking, I set a date to quit that was six months down the road from when I made up my mind. I chose to use the Great American Smokeout as my anniversary date because I really liked the thought of being able to celebrate with hundreds of thousands of other individuals who choose that same day to quit. That way, it's kinda like having a worldwide support group. Plus, with all of the other preparation and planning that I was doing, I didn't really want to have to agonize over choosing a date.

Exercise Those "Will(power) Muscles": I started changing my smoking routine as soon as I made up my mind that I was quitting smoking. First, I quit smoking in my home. After I got the hang of that, I started leaving my cigarettes at home when I expected to only be gone for a few minutes (i.e. a trip to the corner convenience store, picking up the kids from school, dropping off mail at the post office). I worked my way up to where I felt comfortable leaving my cigarettes at home even if I am going to be out for several hours running errands. Then, I only smoked in a designated area outside my home, which is close to the trash can where I eventually be tossed my last cigarette on Wednesday, November 17, 2010, before I went to bed!

Go For It: I was really not looking forward to the physical effects of the nicotine withdrawals of quitting smoking. As a matter of fact, sometimes I got pretty scared when I thought about it. I did the best I could do to educate myself, my friends, and my family about the different things that could happen to my body and my moods in the days, weeks, months, and years after I quit smoking. I know that quitting is doable because there are scores of people who have already done it! And now I have done it, too!

Great American Smokeout Trivia

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. In which state did the American Cancer Society hold the first Great American Smokeout?
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • California
    • I have no idea
  2. How many smokers participated in the first Great American Smokeout?
    • approximately 100
    • approximately 10,000
    • approximately 1,000,000
    • I have no idea

Answer Key

  1. California
  2. approximately 1,000,000

After Quitting Smoking

Drink Plenty of Water - the body needs plenty of water to function properly. Drinking plenty of water will help flush the toxins out of the body and help keep weight gain to a minimum.

Get Adequate Rest - the body needs adequate rest to function properly. It is impossible to think clearly and make sound decisions when one is too tired or sleepy. It will be easier to "ride out" urges and cravings when the body and brain has had enough rest.

Exercise - the body needs to be exercised in order to function at its fullest potential. Start by doing a few simple stretches a few times a day. Other exercises could include, but should not be limited to, walking, running, jogging, swimming, cycling, tennis, or skating.

Support Group - it is important to have a support system in place when tackling something as challenging as quitting smoking. Support systems could be an online social networking group, meeting face-to-face with a group, or even a friend or two you can count on to call or text during intense cravings and urges.

Positive Thinking - it is important to remember the benefits of quitting smoking during the times of cravings and urges. The cravings and urges will pass momentarily, but the benefits will continue to pay off for a lifetime!

Power of Vision - it is important to envision a life as a non-smoker. Envisioning a body with whiter teeth; better-looking nails; fresh smelling hair, hands, and clothes; and able to do anything or go anywhere without being tied to a cigarette is a powerful way to remember what all of this quitting smoking stuff is about!

Dollar Signs - cigarettes are expensive. It really doesn't matter what brand one smokes or even how much one smokes - cigarettes are expensive. I think it would be safe to say that on average a smoker will spend at least five dollars a day on cigarettes or other tobacco-related products. That adds up to $5/day X 365days/year = $1,125/year...yikes!

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Tiffany Delite


Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 15, 2012:

@tammyswallow...thank you for the comment. My kids are very thankful that i no longer smoke in the house and car. They were disappointed when they saw me smoking again after so long, but they are very understanding, too, and positive about the progress i have made... Blessings!

Tammy from North Carolina on November 08, 2012:

This is very inspirational. I have smoked on and off for years and struggle with it. Great hub with some wonderful ideas.

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on December 03, 2010:

@fucsia...congratulations on your success in quitting smoking. i'm still working on more about it here! blessings...

fucsia on November 26, 2010:

Congratulations for your Hub and in particular for your success with smoking!

I smoked and now I realized how wrong I did to my body and my mind.

Now we are Free! It is great!

Thanks for your very well writing page.

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 19, 2010:'s hard to think ahead to 10 years as a non-smoker when the physical and psychological symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are kicking my butt!! i am still within the first 48 hours of "quitting". you can read more about my attempts here

alexandruv on November 18, 2010:

I quit smoking 10 years ago and before then I was smoking a pack a day - Camel and Lucky Strike were my favourites.

The trick is simple: play a mind game with yourself. Tell yourself something like: IF i don't quit smoking today I will never get (and name something BIG you really want/need like a house, dream job, health, love etc). It worked for me.

Good luck people! It's not that hard...

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 16, 2010:

@tia! oh my...that's great girlie! i have got my brother, his girl, and two other of my besties to participate with me so i am so glad to hear there is another one jumping on board!! i wish you best of luck, and i hope you will keep an eye out for my blog (you should share it with your friends and let them know what you are doing). i will undoubtedly be posting about the quitting smoking journey!

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 16, 2010:

@rosie...thanks for the comment! although, i would like to point out that i haven't successfully quit smoking YET! my plan is to quit on the 18th of November for the great american smokeout day! blessings!

Tia on November 15, 2010:

Twee I am going to quit with you on November 18th thanks for inspiring me

Rosie Rose from Toronto, Canada on November 15, 2010:

Hiya tiffany delite, what an awesome hub! Congratulations for having successfully quit smoking. I have friends who had quit but started again. I have friends who are suffering COPD now, some in severe condition. I'm sure the Great American Smokeout this year will be a total success.

Have a nice day!


Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 14, 2010:

@chinafood...shame on you! *laughing* your wife doesn't like you smoking because it is bad for you! i do like chinese food so i will visit your hubpages and see what you have to say! blessings!

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 14, 2010:

@healing touch...thank you so much for the vote - for the vote on the hub and the vote of confidence. i really have been getting the jitters about it this past week but i know that i'm making the right decision and i know that everything will be ok as long as my mind stays set to it! blessings!

chinafood from china on November 14, 2010:

My wife does not like me smoking, so I secretly smoking

If you like Chinese food, then go to my hubpages it!

Laura Arne from Minnetonka, MN on November 14, 2010:

tiffany delite,

Great hub. Smoking is actually something I never did, but I think I made up for it by over eating. Anyway, I am rooting for you. I have known many in my life that have quit for good. It is such a better lifestyle choice.

I vote up awesome and useful.

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 14, 2010:

@chris...agreed. filthy habit. i hope this helps people too! thanks for stopping by, and thanks for commenting! blessings!

Chris C. on November 14, 2010:

I smoked for years.

Filthy habit. I hope this helps people.

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 13, 2010:

@coming...your blog was pretty long, but i enjoyed reading it, and i'm sure i will be visiting again.

as for differing political views, i won't hold that against you =) but it makes sense, as i am a single mother and i'm taking it that you are not. like i said, i won't hold it against you.

i think the thing i am most scared of when i think about quitting smoking IS the physical withdrawals, but i just keep reminding myself that i have made it through that part before and i can do it again. the three to four month mark is going to be the true test for me, i believe. that is the longest i have ever made it in the past. but this time, it really truly does feel different.

as for going viral...gosh, i hope so!! blessings!

Coming of Age from Rocky Mountains on November 13, 2010:

You can do it, Just keep a positive attitude. The key for me was aversion.......My hub is a little long, Sorry about that, but I had a lot to say.

You and I may have a bit different political ideals, but on quitting the cigarettes we have common ground!

The physical withdrawals don't last long, and just think how great it will be to breathe after twenty years of the coffin nails.

Great Hub.......I think it timed right to "go viral".

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 13, 2010:

@coming of age - thanks so much for the vote. funny thing, i have been so confident...until i posted this blog, and now i have been having mini panic attacks ever since!! i just keep praying for strength and remembering that i am making the same healthy choice that many others before me have made! i will be sure to check out your blog...!!! blessings!

Coming of Age from Rocky Mountains on November 13, 2010:

Good for you Tiffany! I finally put the cancer sticks down in May of '09. I'm voting this up. It's good to have a future non-smoker ready to join the ranks. If you'd like some more encouragement, please see my hub...How To Stop Smoking-A Laymans Guide To Starting Your New Life (Smoke Free)

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 13, 2010:

thank you, goprisca. i will be sure to stop by and check it out! blessings...

goprisca from Bangalore on November 13, 2010:

Hai, Great effort to make the world happy.See my hubs and express your comment

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 12, 2010:

@tristam: congratulations! quitting smoking really is a great commitment to health and healthy lifestyle. it won't be the easiest thing i have ever done, but i know i can do it! blessings!

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 12, 2010:

@entourage: even though there a great known health risks related to smoking, it is still feels very scary to quit (or even think about quitting, in some instances). i am so glad you liked the article, and i am so glad that your dad finally decided to break the habit. blessings!

tristam15 on November 12, 2010:

Hi i really so happy to say that i am also a part of this Quitting Smoking in the society.

Stuart from Santa Barbara, CA on November 12, 2010:

As far as I know, I finally got my dad to stop smoking and I am so glad that he finally decided to break the habit. Great article.

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 09, 2010:

thank you so very very much mighty mom!! i am so excited! excited about the smokeout, excited about hubpages, excited about life!! blessings!

Susan Reid from Where Left is Right, CA on November 09, 2010:

Voted up and useful -- this is a really thorough, well written and also personal hub. Hits the trifecta in my book. And you've got yourself a new follower! Good luck with the smoke-out, Tiffany. MM

Tiffany Delite (author) from Wichita, KS on November 09, 2010:

karen...i'm so glad you read it! i'm so glad you liked it too. i hope that someone else will find inspiration and faith in these words and will commit to quit as well! blessings!

Karen on November 09, 2010:

loved the article..and it is soooo needed.

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