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SEARHC encourages tobacco users to quit - even for just one day

JUNEAU, November 18, 2013 - Every third Thursday in November, tobacco users are encouraged to make a plan and set a date to quit for life, or pledge to be smoke-free for 24 hours as a part of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. This year’s Great American Smokeout is on Thursday, November. 21.

SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) strongly encourages smokers to become former smokers. One big step in that direction is to take advantage of the Great American Smokeout this Thursday. Quitting tobacco, even just for a day, moves you that much closer to a healthier life – one with reduced risk of cancer and other health problems.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet nearly 1 in every 5 adults still smoke tobacco and that rate is 75% higher (1 out of 3) for Alaska Native people. The health benefits of quitting start immediately and it’s never too late. Quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke and it doesn’t take long for your body to notice the difference…

  • 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.
  • 15 years after quitting the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

Remember, this year’s Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 21, 2013. Mark it on your calendar!

Quitting tobacco is hard. Get help from your doctor now. You can call Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line for free help to quit tobacco. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC)

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