Join the Great American Smokeout today

11/20/2013, 11:04 p.m.
Today is the Great American Smokeout, a day when smokers across the nation quit smoking or make a plan to ...

Today is the Great American Smokeout, a day when smokers across the nation quit smoking or make a plan to quit.

“Smoking is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the U.S.,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “By quitting smoking, you lower your risk for lung cancer and other types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If you can quit for just one day, you may find you can quit for one week, one month, one year, and before you know it, not smoking is your new healthy habit.”

Smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 3 cancer deaths, and 1 in 5 deaths from all causes. Another 8.6 million people live with serious illnesses caused by smoking.

Within 20 minutes of the last cigarette, a person’s blood pressure and pulse rate drop to normal and body temperature in hands and feet increase. Within nine hours of the last cigarette, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal and the oxygen level increases to normal. After going just one day with smoking, a person’s chance of a heart attack decreases.

Quitting tobacco use is hard, but people don’t have to do it alone. The Illinois Tobacco Quitline, (866) QUIT-YES, has counselors to provide expert advice, addiction assessment, customized quit plans, quit kits, craving support and follow up. The Quitline is available anytime between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week, or visit the website www.quityes.org for help. You can also find the Quitline on Facebook at Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Illinois-Tobacco-Quitline/653487054671741 and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/QuitYesIL.

The Quitline is funded through the Illinois Department of Public Health. Alerting the public of this helpful resource aligns the Illinois Department of Public Health with its strategic plan to become the state’s public health authority, a place where Illinoisans can turn for health information and education. For a copy of the strategic plan, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/StrategicPlan_Final_2014-2018.pdf.