If you are a smoker or you know, live, or care for someone that is, November 19th is a day you’ll want to lose the habit and become victorious over tobacco. The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout® is November 19th and it’s your chance to triumph over this addiction. About 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. As of 2014, there were also 12.4 million cigar smokers in the US, and over 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco. By quitting — even for one day — you will be taking an important step toward a healthier life — one that can lead to reducing your cancer risk. It’s a race for your health, and it starts today. November 19, 2015, can be the day that quitters win.
When a smoker quits smoking – what are the benefits over time? The American Cancer Society and US Surgeon General reports the following health benefits you will achieve:
- 20 minutes after quitting – Your heart rate and blood pressure drop (effect of smoking on arterial stiffness and pulse pressure amplification).
- 12 hours after quitting – The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting – Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
- 1 to 9 months after quitting – Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) 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 after quitting – The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker.
- 5 years after quitting – 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 can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.
- 10 years after quitting – The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.
- 15 years after quitting – The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.
Now isn’t it time you quit? Learn more about The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout® and how it can change your life (for the better).