Today is the Great American Smokeout
Today is the Great American Smokeout, a day where you can quit smoking or make a plan to quit smoking. The Great American Smokeout started in 1970 when Arthur P Mullaney asked people to give up smoking for a day and donate the money that would have been spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund. It evolved from there when the editor of the Monticello Times in Minnesota created the first D-Day, or Don’t Smoke Day in 1974. On November 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society got almost 1 million people to quit smoking for a day. This was the first official Smokeout, and it was turned into a national event the next year.
The Great American Smokeout has helped create changes in laws to ban the use of cigarettes in workplaces and restaurants, increase taxes on cigarettes, limit advertising for cigarettes, and discourage the use of cigarettes by teens. Strong policies regarding smoking have helped certain states decrease their smoking rates from 43 percent to 15.5 percent, but there are still 37.8 million people that smoke. Smoking causes 1 in 5 deaths in the United States and causes 484,000 deaths every year. Of the people that continue to smoke, half will die because of their habit.
Quitting smoking has a very big effect on overall health. If you still smoke, it is never too late to quit. Even 20 minutes after finishing the last cigarette, a person’s heart rate and blood pressure drop. After a few days without smoking, the carbon monoxide levels in the blood return to normal. After two weeks to three months, circulation improves and lung function increases. Coughing and shortness of breath also decrease after one to 12 months without cigarettes. Cilia, which move mucus out of the lungs, regain normal function around the same time. After one to two years, risk of heart attack drops considerably. Risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box are also cut in half after five to 10 years without smoking. After 10 years, risk of lung cancer is half of a person who continued to smoke 10 to 15 years. Bladder, esophageal, and kidney cancer risk is also lowered. Finally, after 15 years of not smoking, coronary heart disease risk nears that of a non-smoker.
With so many benefits from not smoking, make a plan to quit smoking today. If you can actually quit today, go ahead and start your journey to a healthier life. To learn more about quitting smoking and other tobacco products, use the American Cancer Society guide here. You can learn more about planning, nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medicines, and maintaining a tobacco free life from the many guides available.
If you have lung cancer or mesothelioma, you could be entitled to compensation, even if you smoked. Contact us today to see if you could be entitled to compensation by calling 412-471-3980 or filling out our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.