GreatAmericanSmokeoutNovember is often a time of reflection and thanks. Let today be a day of thanks—a day where you can be thankful for healthy lungs, clean air, and the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.

The Great American Smokeout is an initiative to end smoking among the 56.7 million people who continue to smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes because tobacco use is the leading preventative cause of death and premature death in the country.

According to the new Kentucky KIDS Count County Data Book, about 22.5% of women in Kentucky smoke during pregnancy. Birth defects, low-birthweight, and infant mortality can be reduced when women quit smoking during pregnancy.  And even if a mother does not smoke, she may work in an environment that allows others to smoke and exposes her to secondhand smoke. We know that secondhand smoke affects children’s health, too, increasing their risk for respiratory illnesses and asthma complications. Because it would help reduce secondhand smoke, the Great American Smokeout is an opportunity to increase health outcomes for all Kentuckians.

Think about yourself, a friend, a family member, kids you care about, or your pregnant coworker – it’s about time to quit smoking and the Great American Smokeout has resources to help.  Together, we can all live healthy lives and prevent premature death and health complications in children.

Be a champ. Quit.