The air in homes and cars across the country should have been a little clearer on Thursday, the annual Great American Smokeout.
The number of U.S. adults lighting up has dropped by half since the Surgeon General issued a landmark report on smoking and health about 50 years ago. Still, the Centers for Disease Control says about 44 million Americans or about 19 percent of all adults still smoke.
But most of them aren't happy about it. Two out of three have tried to quit at least once. Altoona's Van Zandt V.A. Medical Center offers regular cessation classes to help veterans stop smoking. On the day of the Smokeout, the hospital put up a display, offeirng information and encouragement to potential quitters.
Smoking Cessation Coordinator Sherri Mchee-Brennaman sometimes counsels the same smokers several times. She says,"I think it's important for everybody to know that no matter what, to at least keep trying because if you don't succeed the first time and come back, you eventutally may be able to kick it this time."
Her tip for smokers---keep track of when you smoke and your mood to see if there's a pattern. That may help you come up with a plan to stop.
The American Cancer Society has some great tips on quitting smoking.