The Great American Smokeout is held on the third Thursday of November. Its purpose is to inspire people to stop smoking and educate the public on the dangers of smoking cigarettes.
The Great American Smokeout had a small beginning in 1970 and then slowly blossomed out. The day marked its full debut November 16, 1977. The day is sponsored by The American Cancer Society.
The original idea of the day was to give up smoking for one day and to give the money saved to a local high school. It was hoped that giving up the habit for one day might inspire people to give up smoking permanently.
It was estimated in 2013 that 43.8 million Americans smoke.