The American Cancer Society is marking the 37th Great American Smokeout on November 15 by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By doing so, smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. However, more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year. As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the U.S., and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes.(1) Quitting is hard, but patients and others can increase their chances of success with help, especially our help! The American Cancer Society offers steps one can take to quit smoking and it provides the resources and support that can increase a person’s chances of quitting successfully. To learn about the available tools, call the American Cancer Society.(2)
A Guide to Quitting Smoking is available.(3) If you know someone who is interested in participating in research on quitting smoking, get more information about the E-Quit Study.(4) Some people are motivated by the benefits they will receive when they quit smoking.(5) When smokers quit, "What are the benefits over time?" provides statistics, such as 20 minutes after quitting, heart rate and blood pressure drop.(6) There are Desktop Helpers and a Smokeout Countdown Clock that can be downloaded. As well, there is Information for Health Care Professionals such as: American Cancer Society Guidelines; Fact Sheets; Presentations; Flyers; and many other resources.(7) There is a calculator to determine the cost of smoking, asking how much one pays for a pack of cigarettes, how many cigarettes they are smoking each day, and when they started smoking.(8) Example: $5.00 per pack, 20 cigarettes per day, since 1970 = $76,830.00 total cost per date, or $1,826.25 per year. A wonderful incentive to QUIT!
References 1. http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/index. 2. 1-800-227-2345. 3. http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/index. 4. http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/acs-gwu-e-quit-study. 5. http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/guide-to-quitting-smoking-benefits. 6. Effect of smoking on arterial stiffness and pulse pressure amplification, Mahmud A, Feely J. Hypertension. 2003:41:183. 7. http://www.cancer.org/healthy/informationforhealthcareprofessionals/index. 8. http://www.cancer.org/healthy/toolsandcalculators/calculators/app/smoking-cost-calculator.aspx.
Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS
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