Make Your Plans to Quit Smoking

American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout is scheduled for November 18th.

Smoking cessation represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.  That’s why smokers all over the country are encouraged to participate in the American Cancer Society’s 35th Great American Smokeout on November 18, 2010 and take this opportunity to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.  Not only does the event challenge people to stop using tobacco, it helps to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and the many effective ways available to permanently quit smoking .

The numbers are astounding.  According to the American Cancer Society, smoking cigarettes kills more Americans every year than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide and illegal drugs combined.  Smoking is responsible for almost nine out of 10 lung cancer deaths – a disease that is extremely hard to treat but could often be prevented by avoiding tobacco use and secondhand smoke.

Nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine, so successful quitting is a matter of planning and commitment, not luck.  For most people, the best way to quit is to attack not only the physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal but the mental/emotional aspects of quitting as well.  A combination of medicine, a method to change personal habits, and emotional support will encourage success.

The benefits of quitting begin immediately.  Just 20 minutes after your last cigarette your heart rate and blood pressure drops.  Within hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.  Over the following weeks, months and years your overall health increases and your risk of heart disease, lung and other types of cancer decreases.   And on top of all that, food will taste better, your teeth will get whiter, your sense of smell will return to normal, and everyday activities will no longer leave you out of breath!

To get help making your plans to quit on November 18th, contact our Lung Cancer Program at (404)778-PINK or (404)-778-7465.

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