Today is the Great American Smokeout; a day in which smokers are encouraged to stop using tobacco for 24 hours. Quitting for just one day is an important step to living a healthier life; smokers can use it as a day to develop a plan to quit for good. The day also calls attention to the deaths and chronic illnesses caused by smoking.
The Great American Smokeout is held each year on the third Thursday of November; the first Smokeout was in California in 1976. It became a national event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, in 1977. Since its inception, the event has helped to change laws related to smoking.
As e-cigarettes continue to grow in prevalence, many people believe that vaping is a safe substitute for using traditional smoking products. While vaping products have helped those with tobacco addictions, they still pose health risks to people who were previously non-smokers. E-cigarettes don’t fill users’ lungs with harmful smoke, but are still capable of delivering high amounts of nicotine into the body. Additionally, studies are showing that e-cigarette products can still severely harm healthy lungs.
Some facts about smoking:
- 1 in 5 Americans smoke. That’s more than 43 million people.
- Smoking kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, HIV, guns and illegal drugs combined.
- Smoking causes many kinds of cancers including lung, larynx, and mouth.
- Smoking causes COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
- Smoking causes high blood pressure.
- It increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.
- A pack of cigarettes costs between $10 and $15.