Heather Burchall: Partake in Great American Smokeout | CraigDailyPress.com

Heather Burchall: Partake in Great American Smokeout

The American Cancer Society is urging thousands of tobacco users across the country to give up their tobacco products for the day and perhaps a lifetime on Nov. 15 for the Great American Smokeout.

To help encourage tobacco users to stick with it and get through those urges, it is important to focus on positive health changes that can happen as quickly as 20 minutes after quitting.

Within the first 20 minutes of quitting:

– Blood pressure drops;

– Increased circulation warms your hands and feet;

– Heart rate goes down.

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In 12 hours:

– Carbon monoxide levels in blood drop to normal;

In 24 hours:

– Chance of having a heart attack begins to drop.

In 48 hours:

– Sense of taste and smell improve.

Two weeks to three months after quitting:

– Circulation continues to improve;

– Lung function increases as much as 30 percent.

One to nine months after quitting:

– Coughing, fatigue, sinus congestion and shortness of breath decrease.

– Cilia regain normal function in lungs, reducing risk of infection.

One year after quitting:

– Excess risk of heart attack and death from heart disease is cut in half.

Other benefits of quitting:

– Your clothes will not smell like smoke.

– You will have fresher breath and whiter teeth.

– You will help stop the premature wrinkling of your skin.

– You will reduce the number of children and adults you expose to secondhand smoke

– You will save money.

– On average you will live 12 years longer.

– You will feel healthier!

Make your quit date Nov. 15 and call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or log onto http://coquitline.org.

Sincerely,

Heather Burchall, MS, RD

Community Health Educator and Tobacco Prevention Program Coordinator

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association