Today, in observance of the American Cancer Society’s 36th annual Great American Smokeout, the White House released a new video from President Barack Obama underscoring the life-threatening health consequences of smoking.
“Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable early deaths in this country,” Obama said in the video message. “We also know that the best way to prevent the health problems that come with smoking is to keep young people from starting in the first place.”
According to the American Cancer Society, 4,100 kids pick up their first cigarette every day. Each year, approximately 440,000 Americans die of smoking-related illnesses and an estimated 50,000 non-smokers die of illnesses related to secondhand smoke.
The idea behind the Great American Smokeout is to encourage smokers to quit for one day with the hope they can kick the deadly habit for a lifetime. Obama, who has admittedly struggled with quitting, announced he was tobacco-free in his most recent medical exam.