Monday Is the Day to Quit Smoking

By Chrisanne Grise 11/13/12

For this week's Great American Smokeout, experts explain how quitting on a Monday may help prevent relapse.

It could ruin your Monday. But save your life.
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About 70% of the 46.6 million smokers in the US want to quit, and thousands will be attempting to do just that on November 15, which marks the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout. The aim is to encourage people to put away the cigarettes—even just for one day—as a first step towards a healthier life. “The Great American Smokeout does more than urge smokers to quit for a single day or a few months—it encourages people to help create a world with less cancer and more birthdays by committing to making a long-term plan to quit for good,” says Michael Seserman, Director of Strategic Health Initiatives for the American Cancer Society in New York and New Jersey.

While the Great American Smokeout is actually on Thursday, when it comes time to quit for good, smokers may be more successful if they kick the habit on a Monday, experts suggest. "Research shows that Monday is the day people are open to starting healthy behaviors, so it's a good day to quit, celebrate success, and recover from relapses," says Joanna Cohen, director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Smokers can use Monday, the start of the week, to think ahead and keep moving in the right direction," says Sid Lerner, founder of non-profit health initiative The Monday Campaigns. "Our surveys show that people see Monday as a fresh start; it's when people are 'ready to buy' into health, and they're looking for help." In fact, research has shown that Google searches for information on quitting smoking consistently increase at the beginning of the week, and a survey of state smoking quit-lines found that more people call in on Mondays than any other day. Sticking to the Monday plan may help smokers stick with their goal, as the average person attempting to quit lasts just eight days before a relapse.

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices,,, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.