HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout today. It is an event on the calendar every third Thursday of November each year. Casey Ward, with the Hattiesburg area American Cancer Society, said the day is set aside to encourage smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. Ward said by quitting, even for one day, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life. A healthier life that Ward said can lead to reducing cancer risk.
The American Cancer Society reports tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, yet about 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. That averages out to one in every five adults. As of 2012, American Cancer Society officials claim there were also 13.4 million cigar smokers in the U.S., and 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes and other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.