Today marks the 36th annual Great American Smokeout a yearly event sponsored by the American Cancer Society that encourages smokers to quit for at least one day in the hope that it will eventually lead to quitting for good.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of current adult smokers have attempted to quit in the past year, while two-thirds of smokers overall have expressed a desire to kick the habit. Unfortunately, due to the lack of efficacy of currently approved cessation aids, only about 10 percent of quit attempts are successful after one year. About 19.3 percent of U.S. adults over 45 million total still smoke today. But quitting isn t out of the question: Since 2002, the number of former smokers has surpassed the number of current smokers.
Counseling and medication are both recommended to help smokers quit. However, given the unacceptably low success rate of such methods, ACSH has promoted the use of tobacco harm reduction products as alternative, relatively safe, and effective smoking cessation methods. As ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross notes,The adverse health effects associated with snus, other dissolvable tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes are tiny compared to the risks associated with inhaling cigarette smoke.
In fact, tobacco maker R.J. Reynolds is featuring a new ad campaign that encourages smokers to switch to Camel Orbs, their dissolvable tobacco product. Instead of promoting smokeless tobacco as a bridge product to hold smokers over for short periods of time when smoking is not permitted (one of the reasons why anti-harm reduction groups have attacked such products), the company is encouraging smokers to make the switch for good. As do we.