Each year, on the third Thursday of November, just a week before Thanksgiving, another important date is observed. This has been deemed the Great American Smokeout. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, this is a day on which this organization and healthcare professionals challenge smokers to make a plan to quit. This year’s “Get Ready, Set, Quit!” date was yesterday, Thursday, November 17th.
According to experts, there are approximately 36.5 million adults in the United States that smoke cigarettes. Those same experts are working hard to convey the message that setting a date and making a plan to quit smoking are some of the most important steps to actually going through with quitting.
Although the fact that smoking cigarettes is considered an addiction may be enough reason for some to quit, there are also many different health concerns associated with smoking cigarettes. As many of us know, smoking can cause profound damage to the body and increases the potential for cancer, lung disease, heart attacks, and even early death.
We have also learned through research and experience that smoking does not only negatively impact the smoker. The effects of secondhand smoke exposure on the family members, children, and friends of smokers have also been outlined. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, secondhand smoke “causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.”
Do you think that you or someone you know may need help to quit smoking? If so, there are a variety of resources available. To get a picture of your nicotine dependence and some suggestions to help you quit, take the Stop Smoking Quiz on the American Cancer Society’s website.