The 2023 Great American Smokeout (GASO) campaign, celebrated during Cessation Week (November 12-18), saw collaboration across Lancaster County and beyond, with nearly 30 organizations participating, including Tobacco Free Lancaster County (TFLC, These organizations promoted quitting to their staff, clients and the community.

For over 40 years, the American Cancer Society has championed the annual Great American Smokeout event to empower people to become tobacco-free. Businesses like yours can help promote tobacco-free lifestyles by providing quit resources and information, implementing tobacco-free policies and creating a supportive atmosphere for those battling tobacco addiction.

A highlight of the 2023 campaign was distributing over 250 quit kits to participating organizations. The kits included mints, gum, toothpaste, a toothbrush, fidgets and materials for individuals ready to quit tobacco. Need quit kits for your organization? Contact TFLC at

The campaign also supplied participating organizations with flavored coffee creamers, tea and hot cocoa products alongside education on the impact of flavored tobacco products. Providing this fun refreshment break allowed for learning and served as an opportunity to share quit stories, exchange resources and reinforce a sense of community.

GASO isn’t the only time people try to quit. Many individuals try to quit tobacco as a New Year’s resolution. Research shows that quitting tobacco may take several tries but remember that each try is gold and worthy of celebration! To start planning your quit, call the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

About 34 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about one in five deaths.

While the rates of cigarette smoking have declined over the past several decades, from 42% in 1965 to 14% in 2019, the gains have been inconsistent. Some groups smoke more heavily or at higher rates and suffer disproportionately from smoking-related cancer and other diseases. These populations tend to be those who experience inequities in multiple areas of their lives, including those at lower socioeconomic levels, those without college degrees, American Indians/Alaska natives, African American/Black communities, LGBTQ communities, those in the military, those with behavioral health conditions and others.

No matter your age or how long you’ve been smoking, quitting improves health both immediately and over the long term. Giving up smoking is a journey, and it can be hard, but you can increase your chances of success with a good plan and support. Getting help through counseling and medications doubles or even triples your chances of quitting successfully.

Funding provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services/Tobacco Free Nebraska Program as a result of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

For more information about Tobacco Free Lancaster County, visit