President Obama: Congratulations to Everyone Taking Part in Today's Great American Smokeout

Today, Americans from across the country are making plans to quit smoking as part of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. And this morning, we released a video from President Obama congratulating everyone who is participating in this important event and underscoring our Administration’s commitment to fighting tobacco use:

Watch President Obama's full remarks here.

President Obama and his Administration are committed to doing all we can to stop kids from smoking and reducing the number of Americans who smoke. And for those of you who are making the commitment to quit, you are not alone and we have resources to help you succeed. You can visit HHS.gov today to connect with a smoking cessation expert via IM or phone, use the online step-by-step quit guide, or sign up for SmokefreeTXT a texted based smoking cessation program. And under the Affordable Care Act insurance companies are required to cover recommended preventive services, including tobacco cessation counseling without charging you an extra penny out of your own pocket.

We are also continuing our efforts to protect young people from starting smoking in the first place. 

President Obama was proud to sign the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act which gives us new tools to help young people stop smoking before they start. New prevention efforts include addressing marketing practices aimed at children like banning fruit and candy flavored cigarettes and working with states to keep tobacco out of the hands of kids by increasing enforcement at the retail level.  And the law calls for graphic warning labels that make the danger of smoking abundantly clear. Big tobacco companies are trying to stand in the way of these commonsense measures to protect our kids, but we’re confident their attempts will ultimately fail. 

Sadly, we’ve seen too many friends, families and communities suffer needlessly, and suffer tremendously, from tobacco-related death, disease and disability. We have a clear path to ending the tobacco epidemic and it is a battle we can – and must - win. The prosperity and health of our country depends on it.

Join me today at 12:45p ET as I talk with iVillage reporter, Kelly Wallace, for a live web chat about tobacco cessation and prevention.  To watch live, go to iVillage.com or www.hhs.gov/live. You can submit a question in advance here, or ask a question live during the chat on iVillage’s Twitter or Facebook page.

Kathleen Sebelius is the Secretary of Health and Human Services
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