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Community Encouraged to Quit Smoking as Part of the Great American Smokeout
November 15, 2019
“Quit smoking” is at the top of many lists: doctor’s prescriptions, how to prevent chronic disease, news headlines and New Year’s resolutions.  It is on those lists because smoking tobacco is a top contributor to a host of health conditions, many of which can be prevented. 
 
On Thursday, November 21, smokers nationwide will be encouraged to quit smoking as part of the annual Great American Smokeout. The nationwide effort takes place the third Thursday of every November.
 
Schneck Medical Center, Healthy Jackson County-Decreasing Tobacco Use Workgroup, and the American Cancer Society are partnering to support this important cause.
 
“We’re inviting people to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives. To quit smoking is extremely difficult. Just the idea can be intimidating. However, with the right support, the chances for success spike,” said Dr. David Wilson, Schneck Pulmonology, and Medical Director of Healthy Jackson County-Decreasing Tobacco Use Workgroup.
 
The annual event challenges people to quit smoking for at least 24 hours with the goal that the decision not to smoke will last longer, ideally forever. According the American Cancer Society (ACS), by quitting—even for one day—smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.
 
“The Great American Smokeout is the perfect occasion to commit or recommit to kicking this life-threatening habit. You don’t have to quit in a day—we’re encouraging people to use this platform as a first step in their journey toward a tobacco-free life,” said Dr. Wilson.
 
When a person stops smoking, the benefits are immediate. In fact, the ACS states that your heart rate and blood pressure will drop to normal rates within 20 minutes. Twelve hour later, the carbon monoxide level in your blood will drop to normal. Within two weeks to three months, your circulation and lung function will improve. One year after quitting you cut your risk of coronary heart disease in half.
 
Schneck Medical Center and the Jackson County Health Department offer a free smoking cessation program. Participants learn how to kick the nicotine habit and how to avoid the temptation to start again. Call 812-522-0401 or 812-522-6474 to learn more.
 
Counseling and support are also available at Nicotine-Anonymous.org and smokefree.gov via phone, text, online and in person. Or call 800-QUIT-NOW and 800-ACS-2345 for toll-free support.
 
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