Less Smoking Leads to More Birthdays

As the official sponsor of birthdays, the American Cancer Society and the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), Tobacco Free Nebraska program encourage smokers to quit on November 18th – the Great American Smokeout.

Tobacco users that quit take an important step towards a healthier life – one that leads to reduced cancer risk and more birthdays.  For those ready to quit, they can call the free and confidential Nebraska Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-784-8669 (1-800-QUIT-NOW), or visit QuitNow.ne.gov, for tobacco cessation and coaching services that help increase their chances of quitting for good.

DHHS and the American Cancer Society are working together to help people quit tobacco and strive towards a healthier lifestyle.

“Quitting tobacco use is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall health,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, the state’s Chief Medical Officer and DHHS Director of Public Health.  “The Great American Smokeout is an excellent day to take that first step.”

“We know that quitting smoking is tough and that most smokers have to try several times before quitting for good,” said Mike Lefler, Director of Communications for the Nebraska Region of the American Cancer Society.  “We hope that smokers will use the Great American Smokeout to map out a course of action that will help them to quit, stay well and celebrate more birthdays.”

The American Cancer Society held its first Great American Smokeout in 1976 as a way to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for a day.  One million people quit smoking on that first day and the numbers have increased ever since.

Important facts about tobacco use in general:

o Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.

o Cigarette smoking accounts for about 443,000 premature deaths – including 49,400 nonsmokers.

o Thirty percent of cancer deaths, including 87% of lung cancer deaths, can be attributed to tobacco.

o In Nebraska, smoking accounts for over one billion dollars annually in smoking-related medical costs and lost productivity.