It's one of the leading causes of preventable death, taking the lives of 4,300 Coloradans each year, and costing the state more than $1 billion in lost productivity.
Smoking: it's a habit the majority polled--in Colorado, a whopping 90 percent of smokers--say they want to quit, yet one that often proves a tall task to do so.
The 36th Great American Smokeout hopes to help current smokers kick the habit. Organized by the American Cancer Society in 1977, their website says the smokeout is intended to encourage "smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day."
The ACS provides resources here to help smokers quit.
Regardless of how one aligns with President Obama politically, the struggle to quit smoking is one thing he shares in common with the 46 million American addicted to smoking. Finally pronounced tobacco-free at his last medical checkup, it was a habit he publicly battled for years. He released a web video Thursday to mark the smokeout--and issue some harsh words for tobacco companies, who he accused of resisting the graphic new warning labels approved by the Food and Drug Administration in June.
"Today, some big tobacco companies are trying to block these labels because they don't want to be honest about the consequences using their products. Unfortunately, this isn't surprising."
Obama directs viewers to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, which also offers resources for smokers trying to quit. Click here to view the website.
For those that think they've smoked too long for quitting to have any benefit for their body, the ACS says it's never too late: regardless of how long one has smoked, the risk of many cancers are cut in half within the first five years of being tobacco free; 15 years after quitting, the risk of heart disease is the same as one who has never smoked.