Great American Smokeout is Nov. 18

SKOWHEGAN — Somerset Public Health loves a quitter and is encouraging the community to commit or recommit to healthy, smoke-free lives by participating in the American Cancer Society’s 46th Great American Smokeout on Thursday, Nov. 18.
“The most important thing smokers can do to improve their health is to quit smoking cigarettes and other forms of tobacco,” said Matt L’Italien, director of Somerset Public Health. “Take this opportunity to encourage the smokers you care about to quit for good. Every try brings a smoker closer to long term success.”
Each year, approximately 20 million American smokers try to quit, representing more than half of the 42 million smokers in the U.S. Only about 1.4 million (7 percent) succeed. An even greater percentage of smokers (68 percent) report being interested in quitting. Quitting is hard. It takes commitment and starts with a plan, often takes more than one quit attempt, and requires a lot of support.
If you’re interested in quitting, reach out to the Maine QuitLink online at or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669), which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide free confidential support to all. People are two to three times more likely to quit with the Maine QuitLink than when trying to quit on their own.
You may already know that quitting can improve your health. What you may not know is that it can also help your budget. In 2021, the average price per pack of cigarettes in Maine is $7.61. For a pack-a-day smoker who quits, the savings is more than $2,700 per year. The American Cancer Society points out that quitting could also save you the cost of breath mints, cough drops and cleaning expenses for your clothes, home, and car. Quitting can also save you and your family over time as you avoid the many medical costs from doctor visits and medications associated with the diseases and other health issues caused by smoking or by exposure to second-hand smoke.
“Somerset Public Health wants to help the people in our community to be healthy and happy,” said L’Italien. “It can take up to 30 quit attempts to quit for good, so during this year’s Great American Smokeout event, put your money back in your pocket and quit on Nov. 18. Then, keep quitting.”