The Great American Smokeout is an annual event when smokers are encouraged to give up cigarettes for the day (or forever) or at least come up with a plan for doing so. It has been happening on the third Thursday of November since 1976 and has been the beginning of the end of smoking for thousands of people. The American Cancer Society sponsors the nationwide event that, this year (its 41st!), will be held on November 16.
The Great American Smokeout's origins weren't necessarily rooted in health advocacy, despite its focus today. Rather, it started as an idea in one Massachusetts town for raising funds for a high school scholarship. They encouraged smokers to give up smoking for one day and, instead, donate what they would have spent on cigarettes to the fund.
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