Each year on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout by smoking less or quitting for that day. The event challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps make people aware of the many tools they can use to quit for good.

While South Dakota’s smoking rate has declined significantly over the last 50 years, 15.4 percent of South Dakotans - or about 94,000 people in the state - smoke. South Dakota ranks 12th among all states in the percentage of people who smoke.

The SET-Free and Live Well Sioux Falls coalitions will distribute “Quit Kits” to the public on November 15 on a first-come, first-served basis at the Siouxland Health & Human Services Building, 521 North Main Avenue.

Tobacco use can cause lung cancer, as well as other cancers, heart disease, and lung disease. Today, about 43 million U.S. adults smoke. Smoking is responsible for nearly one in three cancer deaths and one in five deaths from all causes. Another 8.6 million people are living with serious illnesses caused by smoking.

For more information and assistance, call the South Dakota QuitLine at 1-866-SDQUITS (1-866-737-8487) or go online to www.befreesd.com, www.healthysd.gov, or www.cancer.org.