By Pamela Glover
Special to The Herald
Nov. 11, 2008
The Great American Smokeout, the annual event to encourage smoking cessation begun by the American Cancer Society (ACS) 36 years ago, is scheduled for Nov. 20. According to the ACS, tobacco use accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths and 87 percent of lung cancer deaths. (Source: Cancer Facts and Figures 2008).
One of the first steps to quit smoking is to pick a date. Smokers, please pick November 20th as your date. There is still plenty of time to contact your doctor and discuss the method that you think will be best. There are numerous methods to assist in smoking cessation. There are over-the-counter products such as patches and lozenges as well. There are free support groups and toll free phone numbers to call and speak with someone who is trained to help people quit smoking and remain smoke-free. Some of these resources are listed at the end of this article.
It is a well known knowledge that smoking increases the risk for developing serious illnesses and cause birth defects. These warnings are printed on the side of every pack of cigarettes. Tobacco use is noted to be the number one cause of preventable deaths in America. Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 Americans and cost the nation nearly $100 billion in healthcare bills each year. Everyday, 1,200 lives are lost and more than 1,000 children become new smokers. Despite being the deadliest product sold in America, tobacco products are among the least regulated product today.
But, there is great news! On July 30, the U.S. House of Representative cast a historic vote to protect children from tobacco addiction by approving legislation granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products. This is the first time the House has ever approved such legislation. Many people are not aware of the immediate and long term benefits of quitting smoking which include:
With many people looking for ways to adjust their budgets to cover the rising cost of living, a person who smokes one pack a day could save $1,460 in a year if they quit smoking. The average cost for a pack of cigarettes is $4. If a person smokes two packs per day for 40 years, they will spend $116,800. This is more than what a lot of people will accumulate for retirement (averages and cost is according to Freedom Stop Smoking Center 2008.)
The ACS recommends five keys for quitting:
Smokers and friends/family of smokers, please reconsider your habit. Smoking affects everyone, from the negative health affects of second hand smoke, to the rising cost of insurance to heart and lung disease in smokers. The following are resources available to assist smokers in kicking the habit, for good.
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