Americans Urged to Kick the Habit

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Around 173,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year. Nearly 85 percent of them will die from the disease within five years.

In hopes of that number going down, for the past three decades the American Cancer Society has hosted the "Great American Smokeout."
Thursday, some smokers decided to kick the habit.

Brazos County resident Bill McLean was one of them. He says he was inspired by the "The Great American Smokeout."

"I've got a little baby and I can't smoke in the house and it's just kind of bad for me anyway," McLean said.

And, he isn't the only one. For three decades, the American Cancer Society has spotlighted the health dangers of tobacco use.

"When you look back 30 years ago people could smoke in restaurants, in airports and hospitals," Trixy Mireles, with the American Cancer Society said. "Hopefully it has highlighted the importance of quitting smoking."

Over 20 percent of adults in the United States are smokers, a percentage that has gone down. From 1965 to 2005, smoking declined by 50 percent.

"It would be wonderful for people all over this community, all over the country and certainly all over the world to be able to quit smoking for good," Mireles said.

Lung cancer incidence and death rates have declined in men, but it's still the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women.

The United States Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages smokers to quit by following these guidelines: set a quit date, ask for support, find a distraction, visit your doctor for medication options and avoid difficult situations.

According to the CDC quitting smoking at any age can add years to your life and in many cases, decades.

To learn more about quitting and making a plan to begin a smoke-free life you can call the American Cancer Society's Quit Line at 1-877-937-7818.