Are you a smoker or know someone who is? If you're looking to quit, take part in the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout for some inspiration. Every year in mid-November, smokers across the nation use this event to make a plan to quit. November 15 is this year's date for the 37th Annual Great American Smokeout, and with a little motivation, this can be the day that will change your habits - for good!
What is the Smokeout?
About 35 years ago, nearly 1 million smokers in California quit for one day in November. This marked the first Smokeout, and it began nationwide the following year. Because of this initiative, "there have been dramatic changes in the way society views tobacco use," as noted by the American Cancer Society. Laws and advertising, too, have changed as a result of the Smokeout, and many communities and organizations embrace the initiative by offering special programs in November to help smokers quit.
Whether you're a smoker or not, you can probably rattle off some harmful effects of cigarettes without too much thought. In reality, most smokers know more than nonsmokers about why they should quit.
The decision to quit smoking is different for everyone, and they say a time comes when you know you need to quit. If you are thinking that now is your time - or know a smoker who may be ready - use this health snapshot as an extra incentive to quit smoking.
- 18% of women smoke - not as many as you thought, right?
- Smokers die an average of 13 years earlier than nonsmokers
- Smoking is responsible for 1 in 5 US deaths - and is also the most preventable cause of death
- Smoking can increase the risk of heart problems, lung damage, and cancer
- Millions of people successfully quit smoking every year
Lung Cancer & Early Detection
The risk of lung cancer shows staggering statistics: 80% of lung cancer in women is caused by cigarettes. Toxins become trapped in your lungs, and because there are few symptoms in the early stages, the majority of lung cancers are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease.
This is why screening is the most important thing you can do (besides quitting) for your health. Susan Pizzi, Director of Community Health Education at The Chester County Hospital, recognizes the importance of screenings. "Targeting lung cancer at an earlier stage is critical in the treatment and survival of the disease."
Local Happenings at The Chester County Hospital (BTW - These are all FREE)
- In honor of the Great American Smokeout, The Chester County Hospital is giving out free "Quit Kits" complete with different devices to help deal with the urges to smoke like gum, lollipops, memo pads, and more. These kits were given out at all local libraries in Chester County.
- The Chester County Hospital's free Blood Pressure Screening Program is held monthly the Hospital's Conference Room A.
- Stop Smoking Now! is a free program offered at the Hospital for those who have decided to quit. Call 610.738.2300 to register.
Words of Wisdom
If you're ready to quit and are looking for support, visit The Chester County Hospital's Pinterest page for inspiring quotes and motivational tips. Check out this awesome tool from "Determined to Quit" that we repinned - you can use it to set a quit date, track your smoking habits, and work towards your goal of becoming smoke-free!
We hope you will use the 37th Great American Smokeout on November 15 to develop a plan to quit. Even though it may not be easy, you will be taking a giant step toward a healthier life, cutting your cancer risk, and protecting your heart and lungs. And, who wouldn't want that?
Information has been adapted from the American Cancer Society.