Help employees quit smoking, participate in the Great American Smokeout

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Thursday, November 20, marks the 33rd Great American Smokeout, a day created to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for one day.

Almost 45% of the 45.3 million American smokers have attempted to quit smoking for at least one day in the past year, according to the American Cancer Society. For more than 30 years, the Great American Smokeout has proven to be a great opportunity to motivate smokers to make a long-term to quit for good.

Each year, only about 5% of smokers who quit succeed long-term and stress about the economy is having a clear and immediate effect on smokers, according to a recent survey sponsored by the American Legacy Foundation.

The survey found that smokers’ increased stress is causing smokers to delay a quit attempt, increase the number of cigarettes they are smoking, or switch to a cheaper brand instead of quitting. Additionally, former smokers reported that they are starting to smoke again because of financial stress.

Among the survey findings:

  • 77% of smokers report increased stress levels due to the current state of the economy, two-thirds of those smokers say this stress has had an effect on their smoking.
  • One in four smokers stressed about the economy say this stress has caused them to smoke more cigarettes per day, higher among women (31%) than men (17%).
  • A greater percentage of middle-income ($35-74.9k) stressed smokers have delayed their quit attempts because of stress over the economy (20%) than those with household incomes of under $35k (14%).

“The best time to quit smoking is now,” according to the American Cancer Society. Use the upcoming Great American Smokeout to start a smoking cessation program, revisit your workplace smoking policy and encourage employees who smoke to set November 20 as their quit date.

The American Cancer Society has put together a Smokeout page as part of their Great American Health Challenge full of materials to help publicize smoking cessation in your workplace, press releases, local resources and guides to help employees quit smoking.

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