The great American Smoke out day (GASO) is celebrated annually in a bid to motivate smokers to try to keep from touching a cancer stick (cigarette) for 24 hours. This they believe could initiate the smokers into giving up this addition for good. The third Thursday of every November is marked as the great American Smokeout day. In the year 2009, it was celebrated on the 19th of November and this year it will be celebrated on the 18th of November. This day is sponsored by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and provides guidance and assistance to smokers by using the Smokeout as the stepping stone to quit smoking for good.
The American Cancer Society uses its website to spread awareness about kicking the butt and promotes this day through posters, stickers, t-shirts and tent cards. The website also offers assistance to people who want to quit smoking by finding help in their neighborhood. This society has local officers spread in all the major locations of United States who are trained to guide people into quitting smoking and also counsels the friends and family members of the smokers to assist them and provide them with moral support. They also promote non-smoking environment at home and at work in an attempt to ensure that people who have quit smoking do not go into a relapse.
Great American Smokeout History
- The Great American Smokeout was initiated in 1971 by Arthur P Mullaney. He encouraged people to go without cigarettes only for a day and to donate the savings made to a local high school.
- In the year 1974, a Minnesota newspaper editor widened its reach by announcing ‘don’t smoke day’.
- The movement gained momentum in 1976 in California when the state chapter of the American Cancer Society organized an event to mark the day which observed the participation of nearly 1 million smokers.
- In the next year, 1977, it became a national event where smokers from all over the country participated and since then it has been an annual event.
In the years to follow, this national no-smoking day has amassed stupendous popularity. However, ACS believes that they still have a long way to go and need to make more efforts to spread the message of anti-smoking. As of now, they are hoping that people who go without a smoke for a day may quit for good.
The events of the Great American Smokeout day are as follows:
- Behavioral therapies
- Counseling—including telephone counseling
They believe that the above three methods will help patients quit and decrease their chances of relapsing.