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your health l BY SANDY SELBY

8 Reasons To Quit Kick the habit during the Great American Smokeout.


very November, the American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of the month. The event began in 1970 as a local initiative in Randolph, Mass., and the idea quickly caught on. By 1977, the program had gone nationwide. The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, which represents nearly 1 out of every 5 adults. Despite years of public education about the dangers of cigarette smoking, and a growth in smoking bans in cities across the country, tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of disease and premature death in this country, according to the ACS. There is good news for those who quit, though, even if it’s just for one day. Here are the health benefits the ACS says smokers can enjoy when they kick the habit.

#1 Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and

#5 In one year, your excess risk of coronary disease is already

#2 Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood

#6 In five years, your risk of contracting cancer of the mouth,

blood pressure will drop. will return to normal.

#3 In two weeks to three months, your circulation and lung function will improve.

#4 In one to nine months, coughing and shortness of breath

will decrease and the cilia in your lungs will start doing the important work of clearing out mucus and helping prevent infection.

half that of someone who is still smoking.

throat, esophagus or bladder are half what they would have been when you were smoking. Your risk for cervical cancer or stroke is no higher than that of a nonsmoker.

#7 In 10 years, your risk for lung cancer is now half that of

someone who still smokes, and your risk for cancer of the larynx and pancreas has also decreased.

#8 In 15 years, your risk for coronary disease is no greater than that of a nonsmoker.

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Inside Columbia Magazine November Issue  
Inside Columbia Magazine November Issue