AUDIO: Today is Great American Smokeout

AUDIO: Today is Great American Smokeout Click to Enlarge Photo:

Nov 21, 2013 at 6:12 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) Thursday is the annual Great American Smokeout--a day in which smokers are asked to put down their cigarettes for the day in hopes it will put them on a path to eventually quitting for good.

The national event has Minnesota roots. It grew out of a smokeless day promotion organized by the editor of the Monticello Times newspaper in 1974.

Kathi Di Nicola is a spokeswoman with the American Cancer Society of Minnesota. She says it typically takes between three and seven attempts before a smoker finally quits for good.

Di Nicola says there are many tools used in smoking cessation programs these days--everything from nicotine patches and gum to one on one counseling.

She says another deterrent for smokers is the cost--which took a big jump this year when the state tobacco tax jumped to $2.83 a pack. About 17-percent of Minnesotans smoke, compared to 20-percent of people nationally. 

Kathi Di Nicola talks about Thursday's annual Great American Smokeout

Di NIcola says smoking cessation programs have improved over the years

Di Nicola says cost can be one deterrent for smokers

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