Any time is a good time to quit smoking, but Nov. 17, will be the "right time" for millions of American smokers who join this year's Great American Smokeout.

That's the message offered by local American Cancer Society volunteers planning the 12th annual Smoke-out - the one day the nation's smokers are encouraged to set aside their tobacco for just 24 hours."We know that many smokers have a very difficult time trying to quit," said Linda Walton, chairwoman of the Smokeout effort in Utah County. "We also know most smokers are aware of the harmful effects of smoking, so we don't dwell on that.

"The goal of the Great American Smokeout is to provide a supportive and positive atmosphere for smokers attempting to give up their cigarettes," Walton said. "The American Cancer Society hopes at least one in five of the nation's 50 million smokers will make the attempt this year."

Last year, 19.6 million smokers participated in the Smokeout by quitting or cutting down for the day, according to a Gallup survey.

"Smoking is definitely on the way out," Walton said. "There are more restrictions on smoking in public, more state and federal laws regulating smoking, more businesses adopting no-smoking or smoking-control policies."

This year, local activities for the Smokeout will be coordinated by the Utah County Health Department and local units of the Utah Division of the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society will have a booth in the J.C. Penney wing of the University Mall in Orem the day of the Smokeout.