Great American Smokeout: Make the Pledge, Live Longer, Live Better

Quit smoking and you’ll not only live longer, but you’ll live better

November 19 is the American Cancer Society’s 34th Great American Smokeout. Smokers are encouraged to use this day to quit smoking altogether, or to finally put that action plan into place. 

Smokers who quit at age 35 gain an average of eight years of of life expectancy; those who quit at age 55 gain approximately five years, and even quitting at 65 will add about three years. 

In the long-term, within five to 15 years after quitting, the risk of stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker; after 10 years, the death rate from lung cancer is cut to about half that of the person who continues to smoke; and after 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

Even if you don’t care about celebrating additional birthdays, the benefits to quitting can result a healthier, more vibrant life. 

Short term effects are immediate. Heart rate and blood pressure drop within 20 minutes after the last cigarette. Between two weeks to three months later, circulation improves and lung function increases. Between one to nine months after quitting, things really begin to change for the better. Coughing and shortness of breath decrease and you begin to feel the benefits of normal lung function — increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection. If you’re a long-term smoker, you probably can’t even imagine how good that would feel.

The American Cancer Society wants to help you quit and is offering online resources (Great American Smokeout website) as well as personalized telephone coaching (American Cancer Society Quit for Life ® 1-800-227-2345) by trained specialists. 

One very important component to real health care reform rests with individuals and our responsibility for our own health and well-being. Use of tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, responsible for 30 percent of cancer deaths and 87 percent of lung cancer deaths.

The financial consequences of tobacco use are staggering — $193 billion in health care expenditures and loss of productivity. That’s a lot of expense for something completely preventable.

If you smoke around others, it should come as no surprise that secondhand smoke is a huge problem, causing between 35,000 and 40,000 deaths from heart disease every year. 

If you don’t care to celebrate more birthdays, and you don’t care about enjoying a healthier life, then may I appeal to your vanity? Smoking adds years to your age, causing added lines and wrinkles; stains the hands and teeth; all the cologne in the world can’t mask the smell, one which non-smokers generally find quite unpleasant; and let’s face it, it doesn’t make you particularly kissable. 

If you love someone who smokes, ask them to pledge to quit. If you are a smoker, please… for your sake and for the sake of those who love you… join in the Great American Smokeout. Pledge to quit right now. Live longer, live better!

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For more on tobacco and smoking:

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Great American Smoke out – Lessons from a Smoking Cessation Class 

Killer Crop: Tobacco Facts to Inspire Quitting for a Healthier World  

Environmentally Friendly Cigarettes?

FDA Regulation of Tobacco will Aid in War against Smoking

Herbs to Help Stop Smoking   l

The Shocking Ingredients in Cigarettes  

10 Little-Known Signs of Lung Cancer




Photo: American Cancer Society


25 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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William C
William C10 months ago

Thanks.

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W. C
W. C10 months ago

Thank you.

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Tourism R.
Past Member 7 years ago

I was a smoker and I had problems quitting. Then I switched to the electronic cigarette, I feel a little better but I'm afraid of the long term health hazards that this solution poses.

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Mervi R.
Mervi R7 years ago

Never smoked and never will, fortunately.

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Maria W.
Past Member 8 years ago

My mum started smoking again after quitting. :-(

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