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Update: A second accuser emerges with misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: We take you to a state where more than 60,000 kids are chronically absent from school; and we'll let you know why the rural digital divide can be a twofold problem.

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Bay Staters Get Ready for "Great American Smokeout"

November 15, 2010

BOSTON - Thursday is the 35th annual Great American Smokeout put on by the American Cancer Society, and experts say you can add up to eight years to your life by quitting. In Massachusetts, there are about 815,000 smokers over age 18, and more than nine percent of kids ages 12 to 17 say they smoke. Nationwide, more than 36 million Americans still smoke daily, and according to American Cancer Society representative Allison Miller, most of them want to stop.

"In numerous studies, it is shown that upwards of 70 percent of smokers in total want to quit. It's just a matter of being successful, and it often takes several different tries."

She says the Society's website, cancer.org, has more helpful ideas.

"There are several tips and plans, so that people can develop that plan in advance, whether they're going to quit on the Great American Smokeout or they're looking just to quit in general."

Miller says Massachusetts laws prohibiting smoking in restaurants, bars and work places have been helpful.

"Second-hand smoke has 4,000 chemicals, 60 of which are known to cause cancer, and just getting that out of all of our work places is a tremendous step forward in the fight against cancer."

In Massachusetts, about 9,000 people die from smoking-related causes every year. The American Cancer Society says one-third of cancer deaths could be prevented if people avoided tobacco products.

Miller says you can put the odds of quitting in your favor by using the available free resources to make a plan. Then, have your last cigarette on Wednesday - and make Thursday the beginning of a much healthier life.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA