American Lung Association Recognizes 38th Great American Smokeout; Congratulates American Cancer Society

Statement of Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO American Lung Association

Washington, D.C. (November 19, 2013)

More than 43 million Americans smoke cigarettes, and seven out of ten smokers say they want to quit.  Quitting smoking is hard, but with tools, support and a plan, smokers can successfully quit.

Making a plan and setting a quit date are key elements of successfully quitting.  A Lung Association survey found that six out of 10 former smokers were not able to successfully quit on their first try and required multiple attempts to quit smoking for good.  Although most smokers are not successful the first time they try to quit, with each attempt they become a little wiser about what to do and not do the next time.

We congratulate our allies at the American Cancer Society as they celebrate the 38th Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 21.  This annual event helps motivate smokers to try to quit again.   This Thursday or any day can be a great day to begin a new, smokefree life.

Earlier this year, the American Lung Association partnered with WellPoint, Inc. to launch the “Quitter in You” campaign.  Our quit smoking tools and resources are available to smokers across the country.

The Quitter in You campaign includes a web site, a variety of public service announcements, and a wealth of personalized tools and support from the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking® Lung Helpline (1-800-LUNG-USA), Freedom From Smoking® Online and Freedom From Smoking® in-person clinic. The web site, campaign materials and smoking cessations resources are also available in Spanish.

Nothing is more important to the American Lung Association than helping more Americans quit smoking. Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 443,000 lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking and victims of “secondhand” exposure to tobacco’s carcinogens. Smoking cost the United States more than $193 billion each year, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,446 per adult smoker.

Quitting is hard, but with persistence and the right help, you can quit for good.


About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.  For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: