The Great American SmokeoutToday is the annual Great American Smokeout and I hope that all of you who are still smokers (or users of any tobacco) will quit smoking, at least for the day.

I smoked for many years myself and I understand that quitting is very hard. When I quit in February 2003 I really struggled, but I am so glad that I quit now. Sadly, Grandpa died last Monday from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) caused by his years and years of smoking. My grandma also died of complications from her smoking a few years ago. My mom now has COPD also – she quit smoking 10 years ago also. I promise that it is possible for you to quit and add years back onto your life!

I love these free printable cards that you can share with friends and family letting them know how they can help you quit. Even better are these I’m Quitting Smoking stickers you can print out and wear letting folks know you are quitting. People will be very proud of you and want to help! Want to see how much money you are wasting on cigarettes, use the Smoking Cost Calculator. If you spend your day in front of a computer, there are a couple of desktop widgets that you can download to help you quit smoking too.

When you quit smoking this is what happens…

  • 20 minutes after quitting
    Your heart rate and blood pressure drop
  • 12 hours after quitting
    The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting
    Your circulation improves and your lung function increases
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting
    Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection
  • 1 year after quitting
    The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s
  • 5 years after quitting
    Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years
  • 10 years after quitting
    The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases
  • 15 years after quitting
    The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

*The above list is from Cancer.org

Source: http://www.cancer.org/research/infographicgallery/tobacco-related-healthcare-costs

Try quitting today. If you fail, just try again. Keep trying again until it works. Use the tools available to help you quit smoking. Just keep trying!

Are you trying to quit smoking? Have you already quit smoking? Are you being supportive of someone else who is quitting?

Robyn