November 16 is the Great American Smokeout

Now’s the perfect time to toss the tobacco

If you smoke, or if someone you know smokes, you are probably aware of the health risks associated with smoking. And you probably also know that when it comes to quitting, it’s “easier said than done.” Nicotine is an addictive substance, and once it has a hold on you, it’s very hard to break the habit!

Every year, the American Cancer Society holds the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November. It’s a day to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking. To begin, they ask smokers to try not to smoke at all on this one day, November 16. And then going forward, they want smokers to make a plan to quit for good.

What Quitting Will Do for You

Quitting is hard to do, but the good news is that, over time, many parts of your body will become stronger and healthier. What can quitting do for you?

  • Quitting smoking lowers your heart rate and blood pressure to healthier levels
  • Quitting smoking reduces the level of carbon monoxide in your blood
  • Quitting smoking restores better circulation and lung function
  • Quitting smoking restores better breathing and reduces coughing
  • Quitting smoking reduces your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, pancreas, larynx, and lung
  • Quitting smoking reduces your risk of heart disease and lung disease

In addition to these health benefits, quitting will also make you smell better and feel better. People even say you can taste your foods better once you quit. And if that’s not enough reason to quit, don’t forget, it will save you a lot of money!

Help for people who want to quit

Most people find it very hard to quit “cold turkey.” Tobacco is addictive both physically and mentally. Smoking becomes part of your everyday habit and lifestyle, making it very hard to stop.

Many people need a combination of approaches to successfully quit for good, including medicines, emotional support, a change in lifestyle, and will power. Luckily, there are many resources available through the American Lung Association’s Stop Smoking website and the American Cancer Society’s resources. Try their websites to learn more about such topics as:

  • Making a plan to quit
  • Nicotine replacement therapy
  • Prescription medicine to help you quit
  • Overcoming the mental addiction to tobacco
  • Help for cravings and tough situations
  • Staying quit for good

Making the decision to quit smoking—and taking the steps necessary to make it stick—is something that will make a positive difference in your life. For most people, it can be one of the hardest things they do, but it is well worth the effort. You owe it to yourself to have the healthiest life possible!


The Harris School of Business supports its students in making healthy choices in life. Find out more about becoming a student in one of our career-training programs. We offer programs in medical assisting, dental assisting, massage therapy, medical billing and coding, and more.