Great American Smokeout: Take the pledge to be smoke free Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 November 2017

By Capt. Shantyl Galloway

Special to GUIDON

 

Making the choice to quit smoking is a difficult one for many people. But one day is all you need to make that commitment. The Great American Smokeout is the perfect day to tell yourself enough is enough.

 

November 16, 2017, could be the day that changes your life forever. The Great American Smokeout gives you the opportunity to take a pledge to a healthier you. Getting through one day without smoking will lead to two days, then a week and then years. You’ll improve your health and save money by committing to quit smoking.

 

Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit. Each year more than 480,000 people in the United States die from illnesses related to tobacco use. This means smoking causes about one out of five deaths in the U.S. annually.

 

When you make the decision to quit smoking you will notice changes right away. How does your body recover after quitting?

 

— 20 minutes: Heart rate and blood pressure drop.

 

— 12 hours: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

 

— 1 to 9 months: Coughing and shortness of breath decreases.

 

— 1 year: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who continues to smoke. Your heart attack risk drops dramatically.

 

— 5 years: The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder is cut in half.

 

— 15 years: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

 

You can make a difference by participating in the Great American Smokeout event from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 16. General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital will have booths set up around the installation.

 

Support the Great American Smokeout efforts, increase awareness, and work towards improving your health by pledging to be tobacco free, at least for the day, at any of the booths.

 

(Editor’s note: Galloway is a Public Health nurse and General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.)