Editorial - Ten reasons to quit smokingSmoking is such an ingrained part of some people’s lives that quitting seems impossible. They can’t imagine a life without cigarettes and any glimmering notion of stopping is quickly snuffed out by thoughts of how hard it would be, why they should bother at this point and whether it would do any good.
Smoking is such an ingrained part of some people’s lives that quitting seems impossible.
They can’t imagine a life without cigarettes and any glimmering notion of stopping is quickly snuffed out by thoughts of how hard it would be, why they should bother at this point and whether it would do any good.
It’s time to blow away that smoke, look at the facts and list some simple reasons why quitting cigarettes right now will start to pay off immediately.
First, the facts: More than 2,500 people will die in Minnesota this year from lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, which is leading the 37th Great American Smokeout tomorrow, November 15. Approximately 3,700 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in Minnesota this year and about 80 percent of those cases are the result of smoking.
As with other afflictions, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so stopping young people from taking up the habit is essential. That’s the goal of a new campaign that targets youth smoking. ClearWay Minnesota is running a series of television commercials, online advertisements, bus sides and billboards. A billboard in Alexandria contains the message, “77,000 young people use tobacco daily.”
David Willoughby, ClearWay Minnesota CEO, noted, “We can’t become complacent about the problem of tobacco in Minnesota. We need to remember that smoking kills more people than alcohol, car accidents and suicide combined.”
The American Cancer Society points out that while tobacco is considered one of the hardest things to quit, evidence continues to show it’s best to set a quit date – and try to stay with it. Even if you fail the first few times, it’s worth repeating. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
2. Twelve hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
3. One week after quitting, your clothes start to smell better after they’ve been washed or dry-cleaned, and not re-introduced to smoke.
4. Two weeks to three months after quitting: Your circulation improves, and your lung function increases.
5. One to nine months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures in the lungs) regain normal function, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
6. One year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
7. Five years after quitting: Risks of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a nonsmoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a nonsmoker after two to five years.
8. Ten years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker. The risks of cancer of the larynx and pancreas decrease.
9. Fifteen years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s.
10. Twenty years after smoking, you find you’ve saved as much as $30,000 to $50,000, and lowered your health care costs.
For more advice on how to quit, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org/smokeout and start the journey to celebrating more birthdays and living a healthier life.