Health & Wellness Blog
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Great American Smokeout
Posted by Scott filed under Tobacco
Smoking is the cause of thousands of deaths every year -- premature deaths which are 100% preventable. Smoking often leads to serious lung diseases, including lung cancer and COPD. The American Cancer Society wants to bring an end to these preventable deaths, which is why they launched the Great American Smokeout.
Held on the third Thursday of every November, the Great American Smokeout is a day when smokers pledge to go a day without smoking. It is meant to be the first step for smokers to quit. The 2020 Great American Smokeout is on November 19th.
Benefits of Quitting
Smoking does serious harm to your body, including your heart and lungs. But this damage isn’t permanent; quitting can improve your health greatly:
- Just 20 minutes after quitting, heart rate and blood pressure drop
- 1-9 months after quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decrease
- A year after quitting, risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker
- 5 years after quitting, your risk for several kinds of cancer, including mouth, throat, and bladder cancer, are cut in half
- 10 years after quitting, your risk of dying from lung disease is half that of a smoker
- 15 years after quitting, the risk of coronary disease is that of a non smoker
To learn more about the benefits of quitting, visit here: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/benefits-of-quitting-smoking-over-time.html or here: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-happens-when-you-quit-smoking
The benefits of quitting smoking are a good way to encourage quitting, but they don’t mean quitting is easy. If you have a loved one who smokes and don’t understand why, try to understand that quitting is difficult. Quitting isn’t something that happens overnight; it takes time and dedication. To try and quit, you can:
- Talk to your doctor. A medical professional is the best person to approach for help on how to quit.
- Narrow down on why you want to quit. Having a goal in mind can make quitting easier
- Don’t do it by yourself. There are many people dedicated to helping smokers quit. You can find them on Freedom From Smoking or Quitter’s Circle, online communities made to help smokers. Learn more about Freedom From Smoking here: https://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/join-freedom-from-smoking/ and learn about Quitter’s Circle here: https://www.quitterscircle.com/
- Look for social support. Having and friends and family back you up makes it easier to quit smoking.
If you’re a smoker, you can learn more about quitting at these sites, and if you have a loved one who smokes, learn how to support their quitting here: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/helping-a-smoker-quit.html
American Cancer Society. “Great American Smokeout.” Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html
American Public Health Association. “Great American Smokeout.” Retrieved from: https://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/apha-calendar/2018/great-american-smokeout
American Cancer Society. (2016). “Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time.” Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/benefits-of-quitting-smoking-over-time.html
Nall, Rachel. (2018). “What Happens When You Quit Smoking?” Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-happens-when-you-quit-smoking
American Lung Association. (2018). “How To Quit Smoking.” Retrieved from: https://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/i-want-to-quit/how-to-quit-smoking.html
American Cancer Society. (2016). Helping a smoker quit: Do’s and Don’ts.” Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/helping-a-smoker-quit.html