November 17th is the annual Great American Smokeout, when smokers across the country commit to quit smoking to reduce their cancer risk in search of a healthier life.
The American Cancer Society states that about 40 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. Yes, quitting is hard, but seeking professional and medical help can make all the difference. Counseling or medications can double or triple the chances of quitting successfully.
Here are just a few ways your body reacts when you quit smoking:
- Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drops
- Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide in your blood returns to normal
- Within 1-9 months, your coughing is reduced and shortness of breath is improved
- Within 5 years, your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder, are cut in half
- Within 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s
With the vast number of health benefits, why not help a smoker in your life get the resources they need to quit? Head over to the Great American Smokeout page at cancer.org/smokeout to get started.