The 13th annual Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, will be held Thursday, when millions of smokers across the country will take a break and try not to smoke for 24 hours.
There are more than 40 million ex-smokers in the United States, and nonsmokers outnumber smokers by more than 2 to 1. If you are a smoker, here are a few tips from the American Cancer Society to help you get through the day:
* Get rid of all cigarettes, ashtrays, matches and lighters.
* Tell everyone you're quitting for the day.
* Find a friend to support you for the day.
* To fight the urge to smoke, take a deep breath, hold it a second, then release it very slowly.
* Chew on carrot sticks, sugarless gum or straws.
* Do a brief exercise to relieve the tension.
* Drink plenty of water, juice and caffeine-free soft drinks.
The Gallup Organization, using a nationwide telephone survey, estimated that last year 36.9%, or 18.4 million of the nation's 50 million smokers, participated in the Smokeout. It also found that 10.7% of the nation's smokers, approximately 5.4 million people, were able to stay off cigarettes for 24 hours, and that 3.4 million people were still not smoking one to three days later.
For further information, kits, posters, buttons, T-shirts, literature, ideas and encouragement, contact the American Cancer Society at (714) 751-0441.
"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago."
--Bernard Berenson, American art critic (1865-1959)