Life is short, and for those who smoke tobacco, quitting can return precious years and vitality. That’s why the University of Central Florida will be asking smokers to make the pledge to quit on Thursday, Nov. 17, in collaboration with the national American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout event.

The smokeout is on the third Thursday of November each year and encourages smokers to make a plan to quit. The team behind Catch Your Breath UCF and the smoke-free policy on campus will be outside the Student Union providing information, plus sharing the benefits of quitting tobacco use. There will be activities geared toward supporting those pledging to quit, and at 1 p.m., bubbles will be handed out to fill the Student Union atrium as a way to encourage and promote clean air.

Tobacco use remains the largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, yet about 40 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. By quitting – even for one day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life, one that can help reduce the risk of cancer and respiratory disease. When trying to quit smoking, support can make all the difference.

UCF Student Health Services offers smoking-cessation resources to support students, faculty and staff who are interested in quitting. For more information regarding classes, contact Dr. Mary Schmidt-Owens, co-chairwoman of the UCF smoke-free committee, at