Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smoke-out. They may use the date to make a plan to choose a tobacco free lifestyle, or plan in advance and then choose to abstain from using tobacco products that day. The Great American Smoke-out event challenges people to abstain from using tobacco and helps to create awareness concerning the many resources that are available that can assist with successfully choosing a tobacco free lifestyle.

During this time, the Loyola community uses this event to publicize the benefits of choosing a tobacco free lifestyle. So what are some of these benefits?

  1. Stop smoking for younger looking skin.
  2. Ex-smokers have whiter teeth.
  3. Quitting smoking improves smell and taste.
  4. Within 6 hours of quitting smoking your heart rate slows and your blood pressure decreases.
  5. 5.Within a day of quitting smoking the level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped and oxygen can more easily reach your heart and muscles.
  6. Quitting smoking equals a lowered risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer.Stop smoking for more energy.
  7. Within 2 months of quitting smoking your immune system begins its recovery so your body is better at fighting off infection.
  8. After 1 year of quitting smoking your lungs are now healthier and you’ll be breathing easier.
  9. Quitting smoking boosts mental health.

It can be difficult to quit tobacco. Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support, such as:

  • Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines: 1-800-QUIT-NOW
  • Stop-smoking groups: During the Spring semester Loyola University will offer cessation groups to students.
  • Online quit groups: Freedom From Smoking Online, QuitNet, etc.
  • Counseling
  • Nicotine replacement products
  • Prescription medicine to lessen cravings
  • Guide books
  • Encouragement and support from friends and family members

Using 2 or more of these measures to quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone. For example, some people use a prescription medicine along with nicotine replacement. Other people may use as many as 3 or 4 of the methods listed above.

Visit www.cancer.org to learn more about quitting smoking, improving your health, or getting involved with the Great American Smoke-out in your community. Or just call your American Cancer Society anytime at 1-800-227-2345.

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