Great American Smoke Out Day and Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Quitting smoking is extremely difficult for most people; some have said trying to stop smoking is much more difficult than trying to beat a heroin addiction. Within 20 minutes of quitting, a person will experience a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure.
Approximately 12 hours after not smoking a person’s carbon monoxide levels will return to normal and within 2-12 weeks the circulatory system improves and lung function increases. Within a year of not smoking, a person will experience normal lung function, a reduced risk of infection and shortness of breath will decrease. The body will repair the damages caused by prolonged smoking and the person will experience better health overall once smoking is stopped.
Each year, on the third Thursday in the month of November, countless numbers of smokers in the country participate in the American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smoke Out.” In towns all across the nation, volunteers support quitters, spread anti-smoking materials and advocate for stricter smoking laws that control tobacco use and dissuade young people and teens from smoking. Scientific research has shown that smokers are better able to quick smoking when means of support are provided, including the following:
- A support network of friends and family.
- Nicotine replacement gum, lozenges, etc.
- Guide books and educational information.
- Prescription drugs which help to eliminate nicotine cravings.
- Stop-smoking support groups.
- Telephone “stop-smoking” hotline supports.
Each year in November it is “Lung Cancer Awareness Month” (LCAM), all across the United States. The campaign is designed to increase attention to lung cancer issues and organizes rallies, distributes lung cancer educational information, holds fund raisers and much more. The organization also contacts Congress, speaks out to the media on TV and in print and brings in much needed support for the disease that causes more than 159,000 deaths each year.
How to Stop Smoking
With the right programs and support, it is possible for a person to give up smoking and learn how to live life without cigarettes. The National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation helps many thousands of people quit smoking by providing the right tools, exercises and information that will help a person prepare to quit smoking. Through relearning new habits, learning about nicotine addiction and having a strong support network in place many people have been able to live a tobacco-free life.
The site recommends a person pick a “quit date,” toss out any type of cigarette paraphernalia such as lighters and ashtrays. Get the car professionally cleaned, and get rid of any dashboard lighters and ashtrays and store them elsewhere. Get some nicotine replacement materials, keep water bottle handy, get healthy things to chew on, get hands involved in other activities, make sure all smoking materials are gone, wash all clothing to remove smoke smell and go to the dentist for a teeth cleaning to remove the yellow stains from cigarette smoking. Managing cravings and dealing with the issues that lead to smoking head-on will allow a person to successfully transition into a tobacco free lifestyle in no time at all.