Each year on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society invites smokers to participate in the Great American Smokeout, an event focused on preventing disease and death caused by cigarettes and tobacco.
Smokers are encouraged to:
- Give up the use of cigarettes/tobacco for the day;
- Use the day to make a plan to quit; or
- Quit smoking that very day
According to the American Cancer Society1, “by quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.” While quitting smoking can be difficult, it has both immediate and long-term benefits to your health as well as the health of loved ones who smoke2:
After 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop
After 12 hours, your carbon monoxide levels return to normal
After 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease
After 1 year, your excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes
After 5 years, your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half
After 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of those who don’t smoke
After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is that of those who don’t smoke
With the consistent rises in costs for medical care and insurance, it’s likely that you are worried about potential financial battles you’ll face or your loved ones will face whether you smoke or not. Quitting smoking is a lifestyle change you or your loved ones can make to prevent and/or lower risk of the conditions noted above as well as to lower the risk of diabetes and to extend life expectancy2.
When considering quitting or talking to loved ones you’d like to see quit, visit these resources from the American Cancer Society. Quitting isn’t easy, but when smokers know how to do it and know where to go for help, it’s more likely the lifestyle change sticks. Smoking is lifestyle choice that is among the largest preventable causes of disease and premature death1, and you and/or your loved ones who smoke deserve the support to be to make a different choice.
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1: “The Great American Smokeout.” American Cancer Society.
2: “Great American Smokeout: Free help for those who want to quit smoking.” Dr. Janna Kroiss. http://www.htrnews.com/story/life/2017/11/06/great-american-smokeout-free-help-available-those-who-want-quit-smoking-cigarettes-ask-doctor/836503001/