WATERLOO (KWWL) - Nov. 20 is the Great American Smokeout. The American Cancer Society has this advice to help quit:
Tobacco and Lung Cancer:
• Tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States.
• Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women, accounting for nearly one-third of all cancer deaths.
• Cigarette smoking is by far the most important risk factor for lung cancer.
• Each year smoking results in an estimated 438,000 premature deaths, of which about 38,000 deaths are in nonsmokers as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
• Since 1987, more women have died from lung cancer than from breast cancer.
Need more motivation to quit? Here are some health benefits of quitting smoking:
20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.
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 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) 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 smoker.
5 to 15 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker.
10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.
15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker.
Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have some means of support, such as nicotine replacement products, counseling, prescription medicine to lessen cravings, guide books, and the encouragement of friends and family members. The American Cancer Society can help connect smokers to many of these resources through 1.800.227.2345 or http://www.cancer.org/smokeout.