You might think nobody likes a quitter, but you would be wrong.
"One of the things we want people to know is we love quitters," said Marie Costello with the Warren Chapter of the American Cancer Society. "It's our motto for the week. We want to offer people lots of help quitting."
The Cancer Society isn't just advocating quitting, it's even got a day in mind to do so, and alongside millions of other people across the country.
This Thursday, the American Cancer Society will mark the 37th Great American Smokeout.
"Tobacco use is one of the largest causes of cancer," Costello said. "It is still the single largest preventable cause of premature death in the United States."
More than 43 million adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes and more 14 million more adults smoke cigars and pipes. That works out to nearly one in five adults smoking some form of tobacco.
According to American Lung Association figures, nearly 160,000 people die from lung cancer nationally each year.
Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer deaths, killing more Americans each year than the next four common cancer death types combined. According to the American Lung Association, active smoking causes 90 percent of all lung cancer cases.
It is estimated nearly 400,000 Americans are living with lung cancer. The five-year survival rate in cases of lung cancer diagnoses is only 16.3 percent. Over half of people diagnosed with lung cancer die within one year of their diagnosis.
Smoking can cause other diseases as well, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or emphysema, and more than a dozen other forms of cancer. All told, the Cancer Society estimates nearly 8.6 million people live with some disease attributable to smoking.
The overall mortality rate for diseases which can be attributed to smoking mirrors the population usage estimates. Approximately one in every five deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to smoking.
"By quitting, even for one day, smokers will be taking an important step towards living a healthier life," according to the Cancer Society's website, "one that can lead to reducing cancer risk."
The Cancer Society provides a wide range of resources on its website, www.cancer.org, available by clicking the "Be A Quitter" link on the Society's main page. Resources include guides to quitting, a cigarette cost calculator, numerous informational items on the benefits of quitting and links to other anti-smoking resources and programs.
The Cancer Society also maintains a toll-free hotline with live support to provide help with quitting and information on programs designed to help people kick their smoking habit at 1-800-227-2345.