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Make the Great American Smokeout the first day of a tobacco-free life

In support of the Great American Smokeout, the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Behavioral Health encourages smokers to consider quitting smoking on Thursday, November 18, 2021. The event is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and challenges smokers to quit cigarettes for 24 hours, with the hopes of continuing the decision for the rest of life. This year's theme is: “You don’t have to stop smoking in one day. Start with day one.” 


The Great American Smokeout, first started in 1977, is held annually on the third Thursday of November. Every year the event draws attention to preventing deaths and chronic illnesses caused by smoking. The day is observed by millions of people who celebrate by joining other smokers and spending the day without smoking, holding events and seminars to teach people about the negative effects of smoking, or by by sharing and spreading knowledge on social media so that everyone can learn. 


In Louisiana, the statistics from smoking are staggering:


  • 7,200 Louisiana adults die annually from smoking.
  • Smoking causes about 9 out of 10 of all lung cancer deaths and 8 out of 10 of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 
  • Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in Louisiana, causing almost one-third of the cancer deaths in Louisiana.
  • In Louisiana, 39% of adults who have been told they have COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis smoke cigarettes.
  • Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. 
  • Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the U.S., including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke. This is about 1 in 5 deaths annually, or 1,300 smokers every day.
  • On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than non-smokers.  
For more information on quitting smoking in Louisiana, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit