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Great American Smokeout today PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 9:04 PM

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The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.

This year, we’re celebrating quitters and their supporters with a series of fun characters designed for social sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. We’ve also got lots of other resources and information to help you quit for good.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet about 43.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — nearly 1 in every 5 adults. As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the US and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.

Why quit?

The health benefits of quitting start immediately from the moment of smoking cessation. Quitting while you are younger will reduce your health risks more but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

How does your body recover after certain amounts of time?

20 minutes — Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

12 hours — The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months — Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

1-9 months — Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs and reduce the risk of infection.

1 year — The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker.

5 years — Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk falls to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.

15 years — The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker.

More information about quitting

Quitting is hard but you can increase your chances of success with help. The American Cancer Society can tell you about the steps you can take to quit smoking and provide quit-smoking programs, resources and support that can increase your chances of quitting successfully. To learn about the available tools, call 1-800-227-2345.


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