Thursday, Nov. 19, is the Great American Smokeout, a day when smokers are encouraged to quit for the day and make a plan to quit for good. That remains important in Kentucky, which has the highest rates of lung cancer and deaths from it, and where more than one in four adults smoke, the second highest rate in the nation.
Every third Thursday since 1976, the American Cancer Society has coordinated the Smokeout. It has helped change Americans’ attitudes about smoking, and probably saved millions of lives.
While national smoking rates have dropped dramatically, from about 42 percent of adults in 1965 to
about 18 percent, about 42 million adults still smoke cigarettes, and
tobacco remains a major killer, responsible for nearly one in five
deaths in the United States, and at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths, the ACS says. (For a statistical profile of U.S. smokers, from The Washington Post, click here.)
ever to help quit smoking, but it remains one of the strongest
addictions known. Smokers often have to make several quit attempts,
using any of several tools, some proven, some not, before they find
the method that works for them. Among those tools smokers can consider:
support and counseling
quit. Here’s a timeline of the benefits of quitting:
and blood pressure drop.
level in your blood drops to normal.
circulation improves and lung function increases.
shortness of breath decrease; cilia start to regain normal function
in the lungs, increasing the ability to clean the lungs and reduce
coronary heart disease is reduced by half
the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Stroke
risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.
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.
coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.