BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The American Cancer Society is asking millions of Americans to put out their cigarettes and make a plan to quit as part of the 37th annual Great American Smokeout.

Monique Griego has more on the movement to snub the habit out for good.

Lighting up is something Pamela Trombero did for 22 years. That was until March 2006 when a doctor told her she had small cell lung cancer and smoking was directly to blame.

“I knew just like everybody else I was taking a risk, and if you talk to people now that smoke they’re aware of the risks, but they’re not ready to quit because it’s not that easy,” Trombero said.

Trombero, a cancer registrar at MedStar Franklin Square, is hoping her story helps others start kicking the habit.

As part of the American Cancer Society’s 37th annual Great American Smokeout, the event encourages smokers to take the first step to snub the habit out.

“They might quit for a day in honor of this day. Ultimately we want people to set goals to reach that goal to not smoke at all,” Trombero said.

According to the CDC, cigarette smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

But ACS says we have made significant gains over the years.

“If you look at programs like ‘Mad Men,’ you see everyone lighting up and smoking, and once upon a time all the movies stars were smoking,” said Vivienne Stearns-Elliott, American Cancer Society spokesperson.

Despite the progress made, there are still 43 million Americans that smoke.

Trombero– now cancer free– has since started a mentoring program with ACS to help people recently diagnosed. But she believes the smokeout is a good way to make sure some people never make it that far.

“It’s going to give you longevity and peace of mind that maybe you won’t get cancer,” Trombero said.

The American Cancer Society has a wide variety of resources for people trying to quit.  Click here.

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