Thursday marks the 41st year of the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout.
The event started in 1976. The California Division of the American Cancer Society got nearly 1 million smokers to quit for the day. The idea caught on nationwide in 1977. Since then, many Americans have used the day to make a plan to quit or quit using tobacco for the day.
Local Health professionals gathered at Falls Park Wednesday to encourage others to participate. Six years ago this month the state voted to eliminate smoking indoors, which they say has reduced heart attack hospitalization rates. The American Cancer Society wants to take it a step further.
Carmyn Egge with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said, "We also urge city leaders to eliminate tobacco use from city properties that you see behind me. Many of these places are places we go with our families and with our children to socialize, to be outdoors, to enjoy entertainment and to be active."
As part of the Great American Smokeout, local health organizations are offering Quit Kits, which provide information and tools to help people quit smoking. The kits are available through the SET-Free Coalition at (605) 371-1000.