The benefits of quitting begin 20 minutes after the last cigarette.
By Paula Christine Schuler
The Great American Smokeout is sponsored and encouraged by the American Cancer Society on the third Thursday of November annually.
Media spokespersons from the local office were unavailable for comment.
The society encour-ages smokers to use the date to quit smoking, even if for just a single day.
They maintain disease attributable to tobacco smoking is the group of preventable disease and premature death and half of those who do not quit smoking will die of diseases caused by smoking. According to the American Cancer Society, smoking tobacco is the No. 1 cause of cancer.
It also causes aneurisms, stroke, heart disease, bronchitis and emphysema and is implicated in gum disease, cataracts, bone thinning and fractures.
Another benefit is financial.
According to cancer.org, a smoker who spends $5 on a pack of cigarettes per day will save about $152.08 per month and $1,826.25 a year.
To find support groups or support with quitting tobacco, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
For more information about the Great American Smokeout, visit www.cancer.org/ smokeout
After quitting tobacco
20 minutes: Heart rate and blood pressure return to normal
12 hours: Carbon monoxide levels in the blood return to normal
Two weeks to three months: Circulation and lung function improves
One to nine months: Coughing decreases; cilia return to normal function, cleaning the lungs and reducing infection
One year: risk of coronary heart disease is half compared to a continuing smoker
American Cancer Society
An estimated 43.8 million, or 19 percent of U.S. adults, 18 and older, smoke
Men: 21.6 percent
Women: 16.5 percent
American Indian/Alaskan natives (non-Hispanic): 31.5 percent
Whites: 20.6 percent
Blacks: 19.4 percent
Hispanics: 12.9 percent
Asians: 9.9 percent
18-24: 18.9 percent
25-44: 22.1 percent
45-64: 21.4 percent
65+: 7.9 percent
With GED: 45.3 percent
With 9-11 years of education: 34.6 percent
With high school diploma: 23.8 percent
With undergraduate college degree: 9.3 percent
With postgraduate college degree: 5 percent
17 and younger, every day
About 4,000 smoke a first cigarette
About 1,000 become daily smokers
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2011