Today marks the 35th annual Great American Smokeout, which encourages smokers to lay off the habit for at least 24 hours and to use this date to make a plan to quit smoking. By quitting smoking, an individual can take steps toward a healthier lifestyle – one that can lead to reducing lung cancer risk while improving the lives of those around them.
According to the American Cancer Society, there have been great results since the start of the campaign in 1977 including dramatic changes in attitudes about smoking and a “cultural revolution” in tobacco control. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also states that between 1978 and 2009, the percentage of adults who smoke in the United States fell from 34 percent to 21 percent. But with more than 46 million smokers in the U.S. who still haven’t kicked the habit, there is much more progress to be made.
Research shows that nearly one-third of cancer deaths are attributed to smoking. Non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk for lung cancer and other respiratory problems as well, with secondhand smoke causing 443,000 deaths each year (CDC). Even ‘third-hand smoke’ — toxic residue left behind on hair, clothes, furniture and carpets long after second-hand smoke has cleared — is reported to present serious health risks to people who come in to contact with it.
But the good news is you have the power to do something about it. There are a number of resources and support groups to help smokers to learn the facts and quit. Start today by visiting the sites below that contain useful tips on how to get started with the process: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/index.htm
As part of the Foundation’s #2preventcancer campaign, we encourage you to inspire others to quit and congratulate someone who you know has taken their own steps to kick the habit.
For more information, visit the Prevent Cancer Foundation Web site.