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News Release

News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 16, 2011

Tobacco Free: Great American Smokeout

November 17 marks the date of the 36th American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. This annual event originated in 1971, when there was a movement for all smokers to give up cigarettes for a day, and instead donate the money they would have spent on cigarettes to a scholarship fundraiser for High School students.  The idea of getting smokers to quit for a day surfaced again in California during 1976, and in 1977, the first national Great American Smokeout was held. 

Rather than just persuading smokers to quit for a day, the modern goal of the event is providing encouragement to smokers to plan to quit on the date provided, or at least use the date to construct a plan to quit.  Because of all the available support coming from fellow Americans, this is a great time for smokers to take a step toward a healthier lifestyle.

Other than enhancing one’s health, there are various reasons to quit using tobacco.  For instance, taking time out of your work day for smoke breaks definitely decreases productivity, and chances are that it is quite the inconvenience – especially considering most cities in Missouri have implemented no smoking ordinances.  There are many ways for Missourians to come together in the workplace to help support those trying to become tobacco free.  For example, the Department of Labor is participating in the, “I Quit,” Challenge, where supporters of tobacco users trying to quit can pledge to give something up he/she uses every day.

On a state level, the insurance company for state employees is encouraging its members with a tobacco-free incentive where certain members are eligible to receive $25 off their monthly premium if they attest to not smoking/using other tobacco products.  Be sure to check with your health insurance provider to see if there are any incentives offered for choosing to live a tobacco-free, healthier lifestyle!


Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

421 East Dunklin Street, P.O. Box 504, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0504
Phone: 573-751-7500 Fax: 573-751-6552