When it comes to cigarettes, everyone loves a quitter, American Cancer Society representatives said.

The American Cancer Society is marking the 37th Great American Smokeout Thursday by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day, according to a cancer society news release. By quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life, one that can lead to reducing cancer risk, health officials said in the release.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, yet about 43.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — nearly one in every five adults, according to statistics from the American Cancer Society.

As of 2010, the United States also was home to 13.2 million cigar smokers, and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco, the news release said.

To learn more about tools available to help smokers kick the habit, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.

In addition, real stories of persons who have quit successfully can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Tips from Former Smokers website at http://www.cdc.gov/tips