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November 23, 1984

Smokeout could preface 'smoke-free society'

JAMA. 1984;252(20):2803-2804. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350200007004

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Now that the Eighth Annual Great American Smokeout is history, how many of those who—in the glare of news media attention—gave up smoking (at least temporarily) are still managing to refrain from lighting up? If experience from the previous seven Smokeouts is any guide, says the sponsoring American Cancer Society, something over 4% of those who gave up smoking for a day have still not resumed.

The New York City-based American Cancer Society describes the Great American Smokeout—which this year was held on Nov 15—as "an upbeat, good natured effort to encourage smokers to give up cigarettes for 24 hours, if only to prove to themselves that they can." This year's goal was to convince "at least one in every five smokers to give up cigarettes from midnight to midnight on Nov 15."

Last year, according to the society, "just under 36% of [an estimated 54 million] American smokers attempted