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Great American Smokeout: It's the day to call it quits

Today is the 36th annual Great American Smokeout, the day on which the nation's more-than-46 million smokers are urged to put down the cigarettes. For resources to help you quit, go to Here are some statistics that may inspire a change:

• Tobacco use is the largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.

• Last year, 21.5 percent of men and 17.3 percent of women age 18 or older were smokers.

• In 2009, 19.5 percent of high school students were smokers.

• Nearly half the nonsmoking public had detectable blood levels of cotinine, indicating exposure to secondhand smoke.

• More than 60 percent of kids ages 4 to 11 had detectable levels.

• Tobacco costs the nation $96 billion in medical expenses per year. The bill for lost productivity: $97 billion.

• Cigarette smokers are two to four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease and face twice the stroke risk of nonsmokers.

SOURCES: American Heart Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Great American Smokeout: It's the day to call it quits 11/16/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 8:54pm]
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