The Great American Smokeout®
Mark your calendars! This year, Great American Smokeout ® will take place on November 17, 2022. For more than 40 years, the American Cancer Society has hosted this observance on the third Thursday of November. This is an excellent opportunity for people who smoke to commit to a healthy, smoke-free life, not just for a day, but every day. It is also the perfect time for employers to initiate or promote their smoking cessation program.
Why Is This Observance So Important?
Listed below are statistics from the CDC and The American Cancer Society:
- Roughly 34 million American adults still smoke cigarettes.
- Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States.
- Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body.
- Each year, nearly half a million Americans die prematurely of smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. Another 16 million live with a serious illness caused by smoking.
- Each year, the United States spends more than $225 billion on medical care to treat smoking-related disease in adults.
- Each day, about 1,600 youth try their first cigarette.
- If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today.
- Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 7 million deaths per year. If the pattern of smoking all over the globe doesn’t change, more than 8 million people a year will die from diseases related to tobacco use by 2030.
While fewer people are starting to smoke today when compared to the early 2000s, quitting smoking is not easy. It is a process, and success may look different for different people. That is why The Great American Smokeout® event is so important. It provides a specific day on the calendar for smokers to begin the journey to quit, and provides the tools, resources, and support they need to be successful. Not only that, but this event draws attention to preventing the deaths and chronic illnesses caused by smoking so more and more people can join each year.
Encouraging Employees to Join Your Cessation Program
According to the CDC, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion each year. This includes nearly $170 billion for direct medical care, more than $156 billion in lost productivity, and $5.6 billion in lost productivity due to secondhand smoke exposure. Encouraging your employees to stop smoking and supporting them through the process not only helps reduce your health care costs and improves employee productivity, but it leads to an overall healthier and more successful workforce.
Visit the American Cancer Society for a variety of tools and resources that will help you plan an on-site even or even initiate a smoking cessation program on November 17, 2022! In addition, you can contact us for more information on our cessation program offerings.