Join the 'smokeout' Nov. 16
On Thursday, Nov. 16, millions of smokers will take part in the American Cancer Society's 30th annual Great American Smokeout. For nearly three decades, the society has designated the third Thursday of each November as a day for smokers nationwide to unite and kick the deadly habit of smoking.
More than 45.4 million Americans are addicted to tobacco. Roughly one in four adults and one in five teenagers in the United States are current smokers. And unless efforts to help them beat their addiction are substantially increased, 10 to 20 million current smokers will die from tobaccorelated diseases.
There are enormous advantages to quitting smoking:
+ People who quit, regardless of age, live longer than people who continue to smoke.
+ Quitting smoking decreases the risk of lung cancer, other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease.
+ Women who stop smoking before pregnancy or during the first three to four months of pregnancy reduce their risk of having a low-birth-weight baby to that of a woman who never smoked.
Of course, quitting isn't easy. Tobacco dependence is comparable in severity to dependence caused by drugs, such as heroin, amphetamines and cocaine. Fortunately, smokers now have a variety of medications and treatments they can use to help them stop smoking. These medications include the nicotine replacement products such as the gum and patch, and the antidepressant bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin). Smokers can also combine their use of medication by seeking counseling from their physician, pharmacist, or a telephone quitline - clinically proven, free, telephone-based counseling. To get local quitlines , call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345.