SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The 46th annual Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 18. It’s a day doctors and advocates encourage smokers to start a journey toward a smoke-free life.

About 34 million Americans smoke cigarettes. That includes 17.8% of Missourians, according to the American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network (ACS/CAN) Government Relations Director, Emily Kalmer.

Board Member of the American Academy of Pediatrics-Missouri Chapter, Dr. Casey Morton, said youth addiction is also troubling.

One in five Missouri high school students are using electronic cigarettes and nine out of ten cigarette smokers are starting to smoke before they’re 18 years old, according to Dr. Morton.

The Great American Smokeout is a day the American Cancer Society wants to help people who use tobacco create a plan to quit.

“Every time you try to quit, you’re more likely to succeed in the future,” Kalmer said.
ACS/CAN has a number of resources to connect people with to take that first step. The free Missouri Quitline information can be accessed at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or through Missouri’s Healthy Living website

If you are interested in advocacy or want to let policymakers know you care about the fight against tobacco go to www.fightcancer.org/MO or act here