Set a Stop Smoking Deadline
Less smoking leads to more birthdays, and as the official sponsor of birthdays, the American Cancer Society created the 34th Great American Smokeout (officially November 19) to encourage smokers to use the date as a deadline to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By doing so, the hope is that smokers would take an important step towards a healthier life, one that can lead to reducing cancer risk and creating more birthdays.

Researchers say that quitting smoking can increase life expectancy, smokers who quit at age 35 gain an average of eight years of life expectancy; those who quit at age 55 gain about five years; and even long term smokers who quit at 65 gain three years.

Research shows that people who stop smoking before age 50 can cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half compared with those who continue to smoke. Smokers who quit also reduce their risk of lung cancer - ten years after quitting, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. Some of the health effects of quitting are almost instant, too - heart rate and blood pressure drop 20 minutes after quitting.

More Important Facts About Tobacco Use:
  • Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.
  • Cigarette smoking accounts for about 443,000 premature deaths, including 49,400 in nonsmokers.
  • 30 percent of cancer deaths, including 87 percent of lung cancer deaths, can be attributed to tobacco.
  • Smoking also accounts for $193 billion in health care expenditures and productivity losses.
  • Great progress is being made in reducing tobacco use in the U.S., with adult smoking rates in 2007 declining among all adults to 19.8 percent.
For more information, go to the Great American Smokeout web site.