notobacco

American Cancer Society, ITPC Mark 34th Great American Smokeout by Encouraging Smokers to Quit

In Local News on November 18, 2009 at 8:54 am

As the official sponsor of birthdays, the American Cancer Society marks the 34th Great American Smokeout on November 19 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 and creating more birthdays.

In honor of the Great American Smokeout, the Daviess and Pike Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalitions are providing stickers with the Indiana Tobacco Quitline logo and phone number to several pizza restaurants and pharmacies in the area.

Researchers say that quitting smoking can increase life expectancy – smokers who quit at age 35 gain an average of eight years of life expectancy; those who quit at age 55 gain about five years; and even long term smokers who quit at 65 gain three years. Smokers who want to quit can call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for tobacco cessation and coaching services that can help increase their chances of quitting for good.

Research shows that people who stop smoking before age 50 can cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half compared with those who continue to smoke. Smokers who quit also reduce their risk of lung cancer – 10 years after quitting, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. Some of the health effects of quitting are almost instant, too – heart rate and blood pressure drop 20 minutes after quitting.

“There’s no better time to quit than now,” said Sally Petty, Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Project Coordinator for Daviess and Pike counties. “It can improve your health – and the health of your wallet. The average smoker spends more than $2,000 per year on cigarettes.”

Important facts about tobacco use:

  • Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.
  • Cigarette smoking accounts for about 443,000 premature deaths – including 49,400 in nonsmokers.
  • Thirty percent of cancer deaths, including 87 percent of lung cancer deaths, can be attributed to tobacco.
  • Smoking also accounts for $193 billion in health care expenditures and productivity losses.
  • Great progress is being made in reducing tobacco use in the U.S., with adult smoking rates in 2007 declining among all adults to 19.8 percent.
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