Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 2:06pm

A Great Day to make a Great and Healthy Decision

Thursday, November 20th is a day set aside to mark - the Great American Smokeout.  It is a day that asks people to take on the challenge to stop using tobacco products and commit to stay tobacco-free.
Tobacco has retained its dubious rank as the number one cause of preventable death and disease in Wisconsin, causing approximately 8,000 deaths per year. This is a higher toll  than deaths due to alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders and suicide combined.  With 8000 funerals a year, it seems a bit shocking that about 20% of adults and 12% of high school students in Wisconsin are still smoking.
Tobacco may not be the easiest addiction to break, but with the right tools and support, just about anyone can overcome this powerful addiction. Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they use two or more of the measures below:

  • Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines
  • Stop smoking groups
  • Counseling
  • FDA-Approved Nicotine Replacement Products (NOTE: E-cigarettes are not approved or recommended as good smoking-cessation tools)
  • Encouragement and support from friends and family members
  • Guide books

The good news is that the health benefits of quitting start immediately after you quit.   Just 12 hours after you quit smoking, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. A year after quitting the increased risk of coronary heart disease drops to half of that of someone who still smokes. . Five years after quitting, the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half and the cervical cancer risk falls to the same level as that of a non-smoker. Ten years after quitting, the risk of dying from lung cancer is cut to about half of that of a person who is still smoking. 15 years after smoking cessation, the risk of coronary heart disease drops to the same level as that of a non-smoker.
Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Thanks to the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, tobacco users can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for two free weeks of medication and one counseling session to help quit the habit. A perfect day to do this is on the Great American Smoke-Out Day, November 20th, 2014.  The payoff is a healthier and longer life.
For more information on quitting smoking
For more information on the Great American Smokeout
Distributed on behalf of Tobacco Free Columbia-Dane County Coalition


Health & Safety