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Posted on: November 16, 2020

Portland Public Health Recognizes 45th Annual Great American Smokeout

Quit Smoking

November 19, 2020 is the 45th annual Great American Smokeout. Since 1976, the American Cancer Society has hosted the Great American Smokeout, a public awareness event to encourage people to quit smoking, even if it is just for one day on the day of the Great American Smokeout. This one day can shift a person’s mindset and prove that quitting is possible.

According to the American Cancer Society, smoking accounts for nearly one in three cancer deaths in the United States, and increases the risk cancers of the lung, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, kidney, cervix, liver, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and colon/rectum, as well as for myeloid leukemia. Additionally, smoking not only causes cancer, but it damages nearly every organ in the body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about one out of five (480,000) deaths in the United States are linked to smoking. Quitting smoking can be extremely difficult and often results in frequent quit attempts. Research shows individuals may attempt to quit as many as 30 times before they quit for good.

Resources available

For 2020’s Great American Smokeout, Portland Public Health DIvision’s Tobacco Prevention Program partnered with 11 local businesses to provide a total of over 275 quit bags for their staff members. 

Quitting smoking is incredibly hard, and the CDC strongly advises individuals seeking smoking cessation to use proven cessation methods, such as nicotine replacement therapies or prescription medications and counseling, or a combination of all. If you are interested in quitting, the Maine Quitlink can make quitting easier and can also increase your likelihood of quitting for good. Studies have shown individuals are two to three times more likely to successfully quit with the Quitlink. The Maine Quitlink offers free, confidential support to all individuals interested in becoming smoke free. For more information please visit

On November 19, 2020, join individuals from all over the country on the journey to becoming smoke free. Whether you quit just for the day or for longer, know that every quit story started somewhere. 

To learn more about additional resources available in Cumberland County contact Kirsten Goodrich, program coordinator via email at  or by phone at (207) 541-6956.

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