Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and represents one in every three cancer deaths, according to the Lung Cancer Alliance. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, making it a perfect time to shine a spotlight on the risk factor that causes about 87 percent of lung cancer cases: smoking cigarettes. After you quit smoking, your body experiences positive changes within hours. Body function improves and health risks continue to decrease for several years. Ten years after quitting, your risk of dying from lung cancer is half that of a current smoker.
If the medical reasons aren’t enough motivation to quit, think of all the money you’ll save. A pack-a-day smoker could save over $200 a month – imagine all the ways you could spend that money. And don’t forget to consider your loved ones. If you smoke in your home or car, you are endangering your family, friends and pets. Secondhand smoke can cause a variety of health conditions and diseases, and causes thousands of deaths each year in nonsmokers.
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Ready to quit? Nov. 17 is the Great American Smokeout, a day when smokers around the country quit smoking together. This year, take the steps you need to stop smoking for good!
Start planning now. Mark the date on your calendar and tell family and friends of your plan to make sure you follow through. Tell your doctor about your plan to quit and consider using a prescription quit aid. Prepare for the challenges you will face after quitting. You may need to change your routine or activities to avoid situations that worsen your cravings. Make a list of times you may feel tempted to smoke, and come up with coping methods. For instance, you may want to keep gum or healthy snacks handy to occupy your mouth.
For additional advice and support, visit www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GuidetoQuittingSmoking/index