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Great American Smoke-Free Day

November 9, 2012

November 15 is the Great American Smoke-Free Day!  Join us in encouraging smokers to quit and live a healthier life.

The Great American Smoke-Free Day (also known as the Great American Smokeout) is a nationally recognized day sponsored by the American Cancer Society. This annual event takes place on the third Thursday of November and challenges smokers to give up smoking for a least one day. It’s also a day to help raise awareness about the available quitting resources for those trying to quit. In strong support of this day and celebrating smoke-free environments in the County, the Public Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention and Education Program and the Tobacco Free Coalition of Santa Clara County  encourages smokers to use this day to make their plan to quit smoking for good or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.

Importance of Quitting

Quitting smoking is the single best way smokers can protect their health, and quitting at any age has benefits. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease, disability and premature death in the United States, yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke. Cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke result in more than 443,000 deaths a year. For every person who dies from smoking, another 20 people are living with a smoking-related disease. Smoking costs the United States about $96 billion each year in medical expenses and $97 billion in lost productivity due to premature death.
Challenges of Quitting

Most smokers establish a regular pattern of smoking and find quitting difficult because they are addicted to nicotine. Multiple attempts may be required. However, proven cessation services and treatments can help smokers ease withdrawal symptoms and succeed in quitting. The most important thing nonsmokers can do to help smokers they know is to offer continued encouragement and support. The most important thing smokers can do is keep trying until they succeed. Almost 70% of smokers want to quit, more than 52% have attempted to quit each year, and over 6% have successfully quit. Most people quit without medication, but FDA-approved medications, in addition to counseling, can double or even triple the likelihood of quitting successfully.
Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help:

Anyone in the community can contact Breathe California of the Bay Area to learn about the available resources in your community by calling at (4078) 998-5665

Anyone in California can contact the California Smokers’ Helpline: 1-800-NO-BUTTS or visit for FREE, confidential counseling services over the phone or for more resources.
Learn more about Tobacco Use and its Cost

Recently, the Santa  Clara County Public Health Department released “Tobacco Use in Santa Clara County”,  which highlights tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure, tobacco cessation, smoking-related attitudes and knowledge, and tobacco and anti-tobacco marketing. This publication is available to download and print from:

The American Cancer Society produced an infographic highlighting The True Cost of Smoking in both societal and personal health terms.  To view infographic, click:

Get Involved:

Visit the Tobacco Education and Prevention Program webpage at to learn more about secondhand smoke, local tobacco prevention efforts and local quitting resources. Also, “Like” us on Facebook


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Our mission is to prevent disease and injury and create environments that promote and protect the community's health.