Press Releases

American Cancer Society Hosts 48th Annual Great American Smokeout to Encourage a Smoke-Free Future
Nov 16, 2023
Through evidence-based smoking cessation programs like Empowered to Quit, the event offers an opportunity to commit to healthier living and provides support for overcoming tobacco addiction

ATLANTA,  November 16, 2023  –  In an effort to combat the leading cause of preventable death, the American Cancer Society (ACS) is hosting this year’s Great American Smokeout, encouraging people who smoke to make a plan to quit for a healthier future.

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the US, accounting for about 1 in 5 deaths each year. While cigarette smoking rates have continued to decline in recent years due in part to the success of smoking cessation efforts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 28 million U.S. adults currently smoked cigarettes in 2021.

For more than four decades, the American Cancer Society has hosted the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November. The Great American Smokeout offers an opportunity for people who smoke to commit to smoke-free lives, not just for a day, but year-round.

Empowered to Quit, a smoking cessation program developed by researchers at the American Cancer Society, is just one of the opportunities for support highlighted by the Great American Smokeout. Empowered to Quit helps people who smoke select a quit date, understand and manage their cravings, regulate symptoms of withdrawal, and set reminders of why they chose to quit smoking. Participants receive tailored emails and tools designed for every step of their journey.

Some benefits of quitting smoking are almost immediate. Those who have quit smoking report fewer illnesses such as colds and the flu, lower rates of bronchitis and pneumonia, and tend to feel healthier than people who still smoke. Just 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. In just 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. In as little as 2 weeks to 3 months, your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

In addition to smoking cessation, annual lung cancer screening is recommended for certain people and can reduce tobacco-related deaths. The American Cancer Society recently announced updates to their lung cancer screening guideline, expanding eligibility to nearly five million more Americans who smoke or formerly smoked. The updated guideline recommends yearly screening for lung cancer for people aged 50 to 80 years old who smoke or formerly smoked and have a 20-year or greater pack-year history. The guideline also eliminates the ‘years since quitting’ requirement. To make access to screenings easier, ACS has partnered with Color Health to offer a free screening access program.

Click here to learn more about The Great American Smokeout.


About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a leading cancer-fighting organization with a vision to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. For more than 100 years, we have been improving the lives of people with cancer and their families as the only organization combating cancer through advocacy, research, and patient support.  We are committed to ensuring everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. To learn more, visit or call our 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For further information: Aleesia Forni,