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Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

November is the Great American Smokeout

The Great American Smokeout, a day set aside to encourage individuals to quit or reduce their smoking, is being observed on November 18th this year. This will be the 35th Great American Smokeout, promoted by the American Cancer Society.

According to www.ucanquit2.org, currently 20.5% of Americans smoke. While this percentage is still too high, it is a sizable reduction from the 40% of Americans who smoked in 1964. In a 2007 study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 20% of high school students smoked. Estimates are that 32% of individuals who become regular smokers in their teenage years will die of a smoking-related disease.

Cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products can increase the incidence of certain types of cancers including cancers of the lip, mouth, throat, stomach, pancreas and esophagus. Other diseases attributed to using tobacco products are heart and lung disease, and chronic airway obstruction.

By limiting or altogether quitting smoking, one can quickly see positive health changes, and over time even reduce their risk of cancer and heart disease.

Did you know that….

20 minutes after quitting

Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.

12 hours after quitting

The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting

Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

1 to 9 months after quitting

Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.

1 year after quitting

The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.

5 years after quitting

Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.

10 years after quitting

The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a person who continues smoking. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases, too.

15 years after quitting

The risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker's.

Quitting smoking can be a difficult thing, but with the wide variety of smoking cessation tools and supports groups available it is achievable.

Please visit http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GreatAmericanSmokeout/index if you are trying to quit smoking or would like further resources and information regarding the benefits of quitting smoking.


American Cancer Society (2010).  Great American Smoke-Out http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GreatAmericanSmokeout/index

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009) http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/200906_08.pdf

Ucanquit2.org (2010). http://www.ucanquit2.org/Default.aspx


By Alyssa Jones & Nancy Morales, 11/1/2010