A Gift to Yourself this Holiday Season: Quit Smoking!

Committing to a major life change, like quitting smoking, is easier said than done. But what if you tried to quit alongside thousands of other people who believed in you? November 21, 2019 offers you that exact opportunity. The Local 94 Operating Engineers Health and Benefit Trust Fund challenges you to sign up for the Great American Smokeout, a project designed by the American Cancer Society to help smokers everywhere take the first step to a smoke-free life.

Smokers who seek help and/or medication to quit are up to three times more likely to succeed. The Great American Smokeout could be the tool you need to reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease! The benefits of quitting start almost immediately after your last cigarette.

  • 20 Minutes After Quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • 12 Hours After Quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
  • 1 to 9 Months After Quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs (called cilia) start to regain normal function in your lungs, increasing their ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
  • 1 Year After Quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes. Your heart attack risk drops dramatically.
  • 5 Years After Quitting: Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Your stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2 to 5 years.
  • 10 Years After Quitting: Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. Your risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.
  • 15 Years After Quitting: Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

Benefits of Quitting That You’ll Notice Almost Immediately

  • Food tastes better.
  • Your sense of smell returns to normal.
  • Your breath, hair, and clothes smell better.
  • Your teeth and fingernails stop yellowing.
  • Ordinary activities leave you less out of breath (for example, climbing stairs or light housework).
  • You can be in smoke-free buildings without having to go outside to smoke.
  • Quitting also helps stop the damaging effects of tobacco on how you look, including premature wrinkling of your skin, gum disease, and tooth loss.
  • You’ll save the money you spent on tobacco!

You can still participate in the Great American Smokeout if you use smokeless tobacco products like vapes or e-cigarettes. Medicine hasn’t determined all the risks associated with smokeless tobacco, but anything that includes nicotine is a health hazard. Consider signing up for Become an Ex if you want to find a community targeted towards those who vape.

Take the first step: Commit to November 21 being your last day as a smoker!

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