The Great American Smokeout

Smoking and use of tobacco products remains a huge problem in our country and around the world. Approximately 34 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths.

Each November, the Great American Smokeout, organized by The American Cancer Society, aims to raise awareness for tobacco related illness and encourage our loved ones to stop smoking. They provide resources for individuals as well as family members to use when facing the battle of nicotine addiction. Quitting smoking impacts your health greatly, not only immediately after quitting, but in the long term as well. There are many reasons to quit smoking (and smokeless tobacco), and it is not only for healthier lungs.

Quitting smoking makes for better heart health. Right when you give up smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure immediately drop.

Quitting smoking decreases your risk of certain diseases. Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box (larynx) is cut in half. Your stroke risk decreases.

Quitting smoking lowers your risk of diabetes. Quitting smoking while you’re younger can reduce your health risks (for example, quitting before the age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related disease by about 90%), but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

You’ll have less surgical complications. “The number one thing patients can do to reduce surgical complications and improve wound healing (as well as their general health) is to stop using nicotine products,” says Dr. Timothy Browne, MD. Smoking decreases patients’ immune systems, making the risk of infection much higher.

Your senses will become stronger. When you stop smoking, you’ll be able to taste your food and drinks better, and your sense of smell will start to increase. What’s better than being able to smell your favorite candle or taste homemade chocolate chip cookies?

You’ll be less out of breath. Every day simple tasks such as carrying grocery bags or walking up a flight of stairs, will become easier and you’ll be less out of breath. You’ll feel so much better completing your everyday tasks minus the huffing and puffing!

Your car, clothes and hair won’t smell like smoke. There’s nothing worse than getting into someone’s car that wreaks of cigarette smoke or giving a friend a hug and smelling the stench of lingering smoke. Now, you can pick up friends or give them a hug without feeling self-conscious about the way you smell.

 

These are just some of the reasons why you should give up smoking or consider helping a loved one quit. Your health is something that should never be taken for granted, and smoking can have so many long-lasting effects on overall health. Click here to discover more resources and to learn how you can help someone quit using tobacco products.

 

Sources:

https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html