Mind and Body: Great American Smoke-Out is Nov. 16

Clark County Health Department

The Great American Smoke Out was established in 1976 to help smokers quit smoking for the day. It is a national event that is sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

This day is to help a person know where to locate resources that are available to help them stop smoking.

The Clark County Health Department offers the Freedom From Smoking cessation program. The schedule is available at www.clarkhealthdept.org or our Facebook page. Call 744-4482 for more information.

The American Cancer Society has a Smoking Cessation Quit Line at 1-800-227-2345. During these calls you will talk to a trained counselor and receive free, confidential counseling.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health also offers a Smoking Cessation quit line. Kentuckians who want to stop using tobacco or are concerned about a family member or friend can call 1-800-QUIT NOW.

Tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, according to www.cancer.org and www.lung.org.

Each year, smoking accounts for 480,000 deaths per year, including 50,000 among nonsmokers as a result of secondhand smoke. Half of all Americans who continue to smoke will die from smoking related disease.

How does your body recover after quitting?

— After 20 minutes,  your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

— After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

— After two weeks to three months, circulation improves, and your lung function increases.

— After one to nine  months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.

— After one year, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who continues to smoke. Your heart attack risk drops dramatically.

—After five years, the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after two to five  years.

—After 10 years, the risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.

—After 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

Join us and the rest of America Thursday. Do not use any tobacco products for 24 hours. If you need support or want to be involved in a smoking cessation program, call Clark County Health Department.

Clark County Health Department supports families through a variety of programming and services, including: Nutrition Therapy, family planning, immunizations, WIC, HANDS, community education events and Cooper Clayton smoking cessation. For more information, call 744-4482 or visit www.clarkhealthdept.org. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Article submitted by health educators Alice Wilson.

Article information taken from www.americancancersociety.com.