CHICAGO - If you've ever wanted to quit smoking, now is a great time to start. The Great American Smokeout, an annual observance put on by the American Cancer Society, is today (Thursday, November 20, 2014).
During the event, tobacco users across the country are challenged to quit using tobacco for a day or to make a plan to quit for good.
Smoking is responsible for one in three cancer deaths and one in five deaths from all causes. Another 8.6 million people live with serious illnesses caused by smoking, according to the American Cancer Society.
"By quitting smoking, you lower your risk for lung cancer and other types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and COPD," said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Resources exist for people having trouble quitting. The Illinois Tobacco Quitline is available any time between 7:00 AM and 11:00 PM, seven days per week. Counselors are available to provide advice, addiction assessment, customized quit plans, quit kits, craving support, and follow up.