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?

  • Stop smoking for younger looking skin.
  • Ex-smokers have whiter teeth.
  • Quitting smoking improves smell and taste.
  • Within 6 hours of quitting smoking your heart rate slows and your blood pressure decreases.
  • 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.
  • Quitting smoking equals a lowered risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer. Stop smoking for more energy.
  • Within 2 months of quitting smoking your immune system begins its recovery so your body is better at fighting off infection.
  • After 1 year of quitting smoking your lungs are now healthier and you’ll be breathing easier.
  • 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
  • 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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