Since 1976, the American Cancer Society has been challenging smokers to kick the tobacco habit - even if only for a single day. The Great American Smokeout event provides smokers with an annual catalyst for stopping smoking and beating the addiction. That's important for the 42 million cigarette smokers, the 12.4 million cigar smokers and the 2.3 million pipe smokers that risk premature death from the single largest preventable cause of disease, tobacco use.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about quitting but aren’t sure if you’re up for it yet? Don’t wait. Quitting can have a significant impact on your future health. People who stop smoking reduce their risk of early death, enjoy a higher quality of life, suffer from fewer illnesses and feel healthier than those who continue to smoke. What many smokers don’t know is that the benefits from giving up tobacco can start within 20 minutes of quitting, and increase steadily over time. According to the American Cancer Society:
20 minutes after quitting Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
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’s.
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.
We know that quitting is hard. Really hard. Kicking tobacco for good often takes more than one try. We’re here to help. During November and December Lassen Medical Clinic will be offering tips and resource information on our blog for those who wish to break their addiction to tobacco and begin 2016 smoke-free. In the meantime, if you’re a smoker and want to quit, we encourage you to do just that – even if it’s only for a single day.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Christine McMurry, Director of External Communications