Great American Smokeout: A day to quit smoking

A patron smokes a cigarette inside Kajun's Pub, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Health officials across America will ask smokers to put down the cigarettes for a good cause Thursday.

It’s for the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, which is held every year on the third Thursday of November.

Organizers say when a smoker quits, even for one day, they are taking a step towards a healthier life and reducing their risk for cancer.

Globally, lung cancer kills more people than any other cancer — more than breast, colorectal and prostate cancers combined, according to Spectrum Health.

In Michigan, Spectrum Health says nearly 1.5 million people — 19 percent — use tobacco. Nearly 15 percent of middle school students across the state currently use tobacco, jumping to more than 23 percent of high schoolers.

==Dr. Glenn Van Otteren, director of the Lung Mass and Cancer Clinic at Spectrum Health, spoke to 24 Hour News 8 Daybreak Wednesday. Watch the interview above.==