Today is the annual Great American Smokeout. A day set aside by the American Cancer Society to challenge smokers to try and kick the habit. If you're thinking about trying to cut back or quit, here are some helpful tips to get you started. Good luck!

The CDC has 5 useful tips to help get you started on the path to quitting:

  1. Set a quit date. Choose the Great American Smokeout or another quit day within the next 2 weeks.
  2. Tell your family and friends about your quit plan. Share your quit date with the important people in your life and ask for support. A daily phone call, e-mail, or text message can help you stay on course and provide moral support.
  3. Be prepared for challenges. The urge to smoke is short—usually only 3 to 5 minutes. Surprised? Those moments can feel intense. Even one puff can feed a craving and make it stronger. Before your quit day, write down healthy ways to cope.
    • Drink water.
    • Take a walk or ride your bike.
    • Listen to a favorite song or play a game.
    • Call or text a friend.
  4. Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home, car, and workplace. Throw away your cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays. Clean and freshen your car, home, and workplace. Old cigarette odors can cause cravings.
  5. Talk to your pharmacist, doctor, or quitline coach about quit options. Nicotine patches, gum, or other approved quit medication can help with cravings.

Unfortunately, close to 500,000 people in the United States succumb to smoking-related illnesses every year. According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention that makes it the leading preventable cause of death, disease and disability in America.

However, there is some good news. The number of smokers throughout the nation has dramatically dropped in recent years. According to a report in the New York Daily News, there are currently 17.8% of adults in the U.S. are smokers — dropping from the 20.9% of American adults who smoked in 2005.

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