American Cancer Society highlights the benefits of quitting during lung cancer awareness month
MILWAUKEE, WI – 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 quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life.
More than 4,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in Wisconsin this year. About 80 percent of those cases are the result of smoking. As many Wisconsin residents die of lung cancer every year as prostate, breast, colon and pancreatic cancers combined. 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 for the following reasons:
- 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.
- 1 week after quitting, your clothes start to smell better after they’ve been washed or dry-cleaned, and not re-introduced to smoke.
- 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; 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.
- 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
- 5 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 2 to 5 years.
- 10 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.
- 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s.
- 20 years after smoking, you find you’ve saved an average of __________$.
An estimated 3,000 people will die in Wisconsin this year from lung cancer. We want to help you stay well, and we have tools and support you can use to quit tobacco. 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.