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On Breaking Free from Nicotine Day, we honor and celebrate African Americans who have chosen to break free from nicotine's harmful effects and resist the tobacco industry's predatory practices by saying, “No to Tobacco.” Saying No to Tobacco “is a powerful statement of self-care and a refusal to let big tobacco dictate their lives. 



Breaking Free from Nicotine Day is the brainchild of Dr. Karen J Beard, a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist and project manager for the Breaking Free from Nicotine in South Los Angeles cessation capacity building project. Dr. Beard believes celebrating individuals who quit smoking can serve as inspiration for others struggling with nicotine dependence. It shows that quitting is possible and can motivate individuals to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle and foster community and support for those trying to quit smoking.


Chase's Calendar of Events is an annual American publication started in 1957 by brothers William (Bill) D. Chase (a journalist and publisher from Michigan) and Harrison V. Chase (a university social scientist from Florida). It includes special events, holidays, federal and state observances, historic anniversaries, and unusual celebratory traditions. Dr. Beard applied for Breaking Free from Nicotine Day to be listed in Chase’s Calendar of Events 2024 edition. Her application was accepted.


Imagine the feeling of liberation that washes over our African-American brothers and sisters when they finally say, “No to Tobacco.” It's like a weight lifted off their shoulders, allowing them to breathe in the fresh air of freedom from nicotine. Their courage and determination inspire others, reminding them that a nicotine-free life is within reach. The sense of empowerment of taking control of their lives is truly transformative.

November 20th is Breaking Free from Nicotine Day

Join us virtually to celebrate !

Nov 20th | 10 AM

Breaking Free from Nicotine Day is more than a day of celebration. It is a “Call To Action” to inspire hope in those who struggle to overcome nicotine dependence. It is a movement that thrives on the strength of community involvement.


We encourage individuals and organizations to come together, share their experiences, and join forces in the fight against nicotine dependence and mentholated cigarettes grip on our African American and African immigrant communities.


This sense of unity fosters a collective commitment to creating African American and African immigrant communities where nicotine dependence is a “thing of the past”.

Laughing During a Meeting


Success stories of individuals who have conquered nicotine dependence serve as beacons of hope and motivation for others facing similar challenges. We celebrate these triumphs and use them to inspire those who are still on their journey to a nicotine-free lifestyle. By showcasing real-life examples of resilience and determination, we provide social proof that breaking free from nicotine is not only possible but within reach of anyone willing to take that first step.



One of the central purposes of this day is to not only celebrate those who have quit or made significant progress toward quitting but to promote tobacco cessation as a powerful tool in the fight against tobacco cessation disparities.


Offer support and encouragement to friends, family members, or colleagues who are trying to quit smoking or using nicotine in your organization. Become a referral partner. Your understanding and support can make a significant difference in the lives of family, friends, and coworkers who smoke

Real Stories, Real Success:
Meet People Who Quit!

Jennifer Blanton

My story is typical of my generation. I was raised in the 50's, 60’s when it was fashionable to smoke. It was encouraged in movies. Television was new to most communities just a decade earlier. Commercials were prevalent on all stations at the time. There were just 3 major stations at the time as I recall. Channels 2,4 and 7 or CBS, NBC and ABC.

At an early age I was drawn to the glamour of Hollywood Movies and Movie Stars that all it seemed promoted cigarette smoking. I was hooked before I ever took a “puff”. It was a young girls dream to grow up and be glamourous and smoke including having a cigarette case with matching lighter. That was my goal at one time. Is was sort of like a badge of honor of oolness.  Ofcourse in my mind I had arrived at around the age of 18 in college. So from 1968 to 1998 I smoked on jobs, in church basements at the movies, everywhere it was allowed and I believe it was allowed almost everywhere. It was the adult thing to do. It was socially acceptable and encouraged. At first there was no information that I knew of as to the adverse effects cigarettes had on our health until approx. 1965 when Black Singer Nat King Cole died of Lung Cancer which was attributed to tobacco.

After 30 years of smoking, I did quit. I will share my personal journey on how I DECIDED TO QUIT AND HOW I DID QUIT Jan. 10th, 1998 with a promise to myself and GOD NEVER TO RETURN to Smoking EVER AGAIN.

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