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Daily Newscasts

Good Day to Quit Smoking

November 17, 2011

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Today's Great American Smokeout is a reminder that people can quit smoking and see benefits in return.

The American Cancer Society of South Dakota's Denise Kolba says a large number of people still smoke.

"We know that about 36.7 million people in America still smoke daily, and we know that quitting can help save a lot of lives. So, the American Cancer Society is not giving up, and we're still working hard to help people quit smoking."

The Great American Smokeout was first held in 1976 as a way to encourage smokers to quit for at least one day. Kolba knows it can be difficult to give up smoking, so she says small steps may be easier.

"One day at a time. Sometimes it's like one minute at a time. When a craving hits, it may seem intense, but some of the evidence shows that a craving for tobacco will subside in about two minutes. So when you get that craving, if you can get through those two minutes, you can get through another hour, another few hours, get through the day."

In South Dakota, Kolba says, estimates are that next year will see 580 new cases of lung cancer and 450 deaths from the disease. By quitting, she says, smokers could add up to eight years to their lives.

The American Cancer Society has resources to help people quit smoking for good. Free phone coaching is available at 1-800-227-2345, and tips and tools are online at cancer.org/smokeout.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD