If you are still smoking, hopefully today’s post will inspire you to quit. The good news is that fewer people are smoking and more than 3 million American smokers kick the habit every year. In the last 45 years the percentage of those that smoke has been cut in half. People are getting the message but about 20% of our population is still smoking despite all the evidence of serious health consequences.
Smoking and use of other tobacco products is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death. About 46 million Americans still smoke and half will die prematurely as a direct result. According to surveys, over half have attempted to quit in the past year. Lung cancer is the number 1 cause of cancer death for men and women. Smoking is considered responsible for 80% of lung cancers.
According to Dr. Carlos Reynes at Loyola University Health System’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, you can expect the following benefits:
• Twenty minutes after quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
• Twelve hours after quitting the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
• One year after quitting the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.
• You will save money because at $7 to $9 each, a pack-a-day habit sets you back between $2,500 and $3,300 each year.
• And improved health also will save you trips to the doctor.
If you want to quit but have found it difficult, try the STOP! Technique explained in an earlier post.