The American Cancer Society reports that 34 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. The estimated smoking related deaths every year is 480,000, or nearly 1 in 5 deaths, and over 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Quitting tobacco may not be easy. If you are thinking about it, or even ready to do so, setting a quit date may serve as your first step. November 21st is annual “The Great American Smokeout,” by choosing this date as your quit date, you will join thousands from all across the country in taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing your cancer and chronic disease risk.
Quitting smoking improves health immediately at any age. According to the CDC, smoking is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and makes your diabetes – any type, harder to control. In fact, the CDC further reports, smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. The more you smoke; more you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
You don’t have to stop smoking in one day or do it alone. Start with day one, and know there are resources available to support you, such as counseling and medications. It can often take multiple attempts to successfully quit tobacco use. Speak with your primary care doctor or for free help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, and visit quitnow.net/Oregon.
If you are a support person to someone who is trying to quit, you may also find some helpful “Do’s and Don’ts” at https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/helping-a-smoker-quit.html.
For more local health and wellness information, follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.