More than 40 million Americans smoke cigarettes, despite the fact that tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of death in the U.S. To help lower this number and the heightened risk for disease caused by cigarette smoking, the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 17. The event is held each year to encourage smokers to set a quit date with a community of peers and support.
Along with the Great American Smokeout event, November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, meaning there are multiple opportunities to make a change and choose to quit smoking today. If the momentum and support created through these events and efforts aren’t enough, there is plenty of data to prove the benefits of quitting smoking today.
According to the American Cancer Society:
- Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate are reduced to almost normal.
- Within 12 hours of quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- Within 2 week to 2 months, your circulation improves, and your lung function increases.
- Within 10 years of quitting smoking, the risk of dying from lung cancer is about half of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decrease
- Smoking can reduce your good cholesterol (HDL) and your lung capacity, making it difficult to get the physical activity you need to stay healthy.
- Quitting smoking today will lower your risk for heart disease, aneurysms, blood clots, stroke and peripheral artery disease (PAD). More details.
For more information on the Great American Smokeout, check out the American Cancer Society’s website on the event.