Tomorrow is a special day. It marks the one week count down until Thanksgiving, but it’s special for another reason. Tomorrow is the Great American Smokeout! The Great American Smokeout is an annual event that occurs on the third Thursday of November. The American Cancer Society encourages smokers everywhere to use the date to quit smoking.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s only fitting that the Great American Smokeout takes place in a month dedicated to promoting lung health.
Tobacco use is largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Despite that fact, 42 million adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes; that’s almost 1 out of every 5 adults. That 42 million doesn’t even count those who use other tobacco products, like pipes or cigars. In 2012, there were 13.4 million cigar smokers in the U.S. and another 2.3 million people who smoked tobacco pipes or other forms of tobacco.
The Great American Smokeout is a day when smokers everywhere can stop smoking together, and encourage each other to quit using tobacco completely. Using tobacco is a huge health risk, and there are plenty of good reasons to quit.
Here’s an idea of how your body recovers from giving up tobacco.
- After 20 minutes your heart rate and blood pressure drop.After 12 hours the carbon monoxide levels in your body return to normal
- After 2-3 weeks your circulation improves and your lung function increases
- After 1-9 coughing and shortness of breathe decrease and the celia in your lungs recover
- After 1 year your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s
- After 5 years your risk of throat, mouth, esophogas, and bladder cancer are halved
- After 10 years the risk of dying from lung cancer is half that of a smoker’s
- After 15 years the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non smoker
It’s not easy to quit smoking, but it ca be easier with the help and encouragement of others. Join others across the country and take part in the Great American Smokeout tomorrow with the social media hashtag, #quitforgood!