The third Thursday of November is Great American Smokeout Day, just one week before Thanksgiving. I have never smoked a complete cigarette. I took two puffs, ended up coughing, and I said no to cigarettes. This will not be a nag or anything negative, "I'm just saying."

My husband was a smoker, and said he would quit when packs were $2, yep, a long time ago, right? That did not happen. He tried the patch, tried cold turkey. Those methods did not work for him.

It was late in December that he came down with a horrible case of bronchitis and the medication he was given basically knocked him out for three days. Now he did want to quit and he started a new year as a nonsmoker. We still have issues eating tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, but it is well worth it that he no longer smokes. He has said, more in the early stages, that he misses it. But he resists. It's been more than a decade since his last cigarette.

Great American Smokeout started in Massachusetts in 1970 when Arthur Mullaney suggested people to stop smoking for a day and donate that money to schools.

It was in 1974 that "Don't Smoke Day" was promoted by Lynn Smith of Monticello, Minnesota.

November 18, 1976, California's Division of American Cancer Society prompted close to a million smokers to quit for a day.

One year later on November 16, 1977, San Fransisco's Union Square was the location of the first Great American Smokeout.

You have probably already heard this before but it truly is amazing.

  • Just 12 hours after quitting, your blood's carbon monoxide levels become normal.
  • Three weeks later, circulation improves.
  • One year later, coronary heart disease risk is decreased.
  • Five years later, stroke risk falls and certain cancer risks decrease.
  • 10 years later, risk of dying from lung cancer is decreased.

I've heard people say they don't want to be called quitters, jokingly of course because they are tired of others nagging, suggesting or giving looks. I would think that it would be OK to be called a quitter for giving up smoking or even chewing tobacco.

To those that have successfully quit:  A BIG CONGRATS!

Good luck to those who are thinking about quitting. You don't have to wait for a day or a new year. I have noticed it is not easy, I have heard stories. But it is possible.

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