The Great American Smokeout®?
For more than 40 years, the American Cancer Society has hosted the Great American Smokeout ® on the third Thursday of November. This year, the event will be held on November 18, 2021. 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. The Great American Smokeout ® provides a chance for individuals, community groups, businesses, health care providers, and others to encourage people to use this date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and initiate a smoking cessation plan on the day of the event.
Why Is The Smokeout So Important?
It is estimated that 32.4 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. In the US alone, smoking deaths per year amount to over 480,000. This includes more than 40,000 deaths caused by second-hand smoke exposure. Supporting research from BMC Medicine found that roughly 67% of smokers will die from smoking-related illnesses, including lung disease, heart disease, and over 13 types of cancer. Right now, it is estimated that more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.
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
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 and initiate a smoking cessation program on November 18, 2021! In addition, you can contact us at [email protected] for more information on our cessation program offerings.