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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tobacco Products

The Importance of the Great American Smokeout

Image of a cigarette crossed out. Text: Great American Smokeout.

November 15, 2011

Each year on the third Thursday in November, thousands across the country join the Great American Smokeout and give up smoking for one day. 

This year, smokers may take part on November 17 and quit for the day or make plans to quit permanently. Many also use the day as a chance for people to encourage their friends and loved ones to quit smoking. 

While smoking rates have dropped significantly since the first national Smokeout in 1977, nearly one in five Americans smoke cigarettes. Cigarette use still causes more than 400,000 U.S. deaths each year.


Video Message from President Obama

Congratulations to Everyone Taking Part in Today's Great American Smokeout


Live Chat

Join the live chat with Secretary Sebelius: Our Kids and Smoking disclaimer icon on Thursday, November 17 from 12:45 EST - 1:15 EST.

Cheerful group of people.


The science is clear – smokers who quit now greatly reduce serious risks to their health.

There are a variety of evidence-based resources available: 

  • 1-800-QUIT-NOW: A free, phone-based service with educational materials and coaches that can help you quit smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Smokefree.gov: The federal site dedicated to helping you quit.
  • Smokefree QuitGuide App: Developed by the NIH National Cancer Institute for your smartphone.
  • Quit Tobacco—Make Everyone Proud: For military personnel and their families.
  • Quit Smoking: Guides to help you quit smoking.
  • Tobacco Cessation—You Can Quit Smoking Now!: From the Surgeon General.
  • You Can Quit Smoking: CDC consumer guide.
  • Guide to Quit Smoking: Tips and tools from American Cancer Society to help you quit smoking. 


Spread the Word!

Tell others about the Great American Smokeout by sharing a link to this page in e-mails, tweets, and Facebook posts.


Get More Great American Smokeout Information

View all past FDA Tobacco feature articles here

Posted November 15, 2011