Take a step toward a healthier life by making a plan to quit smoking today. November 15th is the day of the “Great American Smoke-Out.” This is an American Cancer Society event that occurs on the third Thursday in November each year and encourages smokers to use the date to become ex-smokers.
Nearly 38 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. Smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. In Vermont, tobacco use is the #1 leading cause of preventable death. About 19.5 percent of Vermonters - or roughly one in every 5 people - smoke tobacco products. In a year's time 1,000 Vermonters will die of smoking-related diseases, including heart diseases and cancers. That's 20% of all deaths in Vermont that could have been prevented.
Tobacco use is also a spring board for many health issues down the road including cardio-vascular disease, complications with diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), recovery time after surgery, and the list goes on. Tobacco abuse affects every part of the person from the cost per pack to the health risks it carries.
The Good News
Here are a few encouraging health facts to consider.
Within minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your body begins to recover:
20 minutes after quitting
Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
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 your lung function increases.
1 to 9 months after quitting
Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs (called cilia) start to regain normal function in your lungs, increasing their 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 someone who still smokes. Your heart attack risk drops dramatically.
Once the decision has been reached to become an ex-smoker, there are many support resources available. Several are listed below including my hypnosis program to stop smoking. Ninety percent of ex-smokers quit cold turkey and hypnosis is a good technique to help in that process.
Remember there is no time like the present to make the decision that will have a positively profound effect on you and your loved ones.
Integrative Life and Stress Management Coach
Looking to Quit Smoking
Central Vermont Medical Center
American Cancer Society
Vermont Department of Health
US Surgeon General's Report, 2010 and US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990
World Health Organization. Tobacco Control: Reversal of Risk After Quitting Smoking