Dear Kid,

Encourage a smoker to quit. The Great American Smokeout. DearKidLoveMom.comToday is the Great American Smokeout. Every year on the third Thursday in November, the American Cancer Society sponsors the Smokeout to encourage smokers to end the habit.

The first Smokeout was in 1970 in Massachusetts when a man asked people to give up smoking for a day and donate the money they saved to the local high school scholarship.

The American Cancer Society uses lots of encouraging words like “making a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.”

I use much less open language: Stop Smoking. Now.

Fortunately, I don’t have to say that to you, but you may feel free to quote me as you see fit.

Smoking is responsible for 1 in 3 cancer deaths and 1 in 5 deaths overall. Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths annually.

If you know anyone who smokes today is a great day to suggest they quit. Give them your support. Give them a piece of gum. Distract them when they crave nicotine (which they will).

It’s not easy to quit. But it could save a life.

Love, Mom