Tobacco use remains the single-largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US.  We all know that, right?  Then why do 43.8 million Americans still smoke?  That's nearly 1 in every 5 adults -- and I have counted among them at several times in my past.

Quitting is one of the hardest things in the world to do and I miss it every single day.  I miss the relaxation it brings.  I miss the mental break it gives me during the day.  I miss the first smoke with coffee in the morning.

I don't miss:  the coughing, the stinky clothes, the stinky car, the cold temperatures where I would risk frostbite just for a smoke.  I don't miss leaving family and friends to go out and smoke at a party.  I don't miss the quizzical look my kid gave me when we would talk about how horrible it was -- but why I did it anyway.

Quitting is a decision you make every day.  You decide to quit one day.  You decide again the next day and the next and the next.

You can decide today is YOUR day . . . . and there are lots of resources to help you:

Have a question about how to quit smoking? Want to know how lawmakers can help in the fight against tobacco use? Sharecare & the American Cancer Society team up to host a Great American Smokeout Twitter Chat. On Wednesday, Nov. 20 and Thurs. Nov 21, ask your question on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #quitforgood. Go online Thurs, Nov 21, 11 am to 4 pm EST to see the answers roll in from the American Cancer Society and other experts!

It's hard to quit tobacco

Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support, such as:

  • Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines
  • Stop-smoking groups
  • Online quit groups
  • Counseling
  • Nicotine replacement products
  • Prescription medicine to lessen cravings
  • Guide books
  • Encouragement and support from friends and family members

Using 2 or more of these measures to quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone. For example, some people use a prescription medicine along with nicotine replacement. Other people may use as many as 3 or 4 of the methods listed above.

Telephone stop-smoking hotlines are an easy-to-use resource, and they are available in all 50 states.

Call us at 1-800-227-2345 to get more information on quitting tobacco and to find telephone counseling or other support in your area. You can also learn more in the "Stay Away from Tobacco" section.