Each year, the third Thursday in November marks the Great American Smokeout, a day when smokers around the country either quit smoking or make a plan to quit.
"Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S.," Illinois Department of Public Health Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck explained. "By quitting smoking, you lower your risk for lung cancer and other types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If you can quit for just one day, you may find you can quit for one week, one month, one year, and before you know it, not smoking is your new healthy habit."
According to the IDPH, a person's blood pressure and pulse drop to normal and the body temperature in their hands and feet increase just 20 minutes of their last cigarette. Within nine hours of their last cigarette, the carbon monoxide level in their blood drops and oxygen levels increase to normal. After one day without a cigarette, the person's chance of a heart attack decreases.
Smoking causes nearly one in three cancer deaths and is responsible for one in five deaths from all causes. In addition, 8.6 million people have serious illnesses caused by smoking.
If you want to quit, but need help, the Illinois Tobacco Quitline (1-866-QUIT-YES) is open seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. You can also visit www.quityes.org.
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