Tomorrow, for the 2013 Great American Smokeout, we’re joining the American Cancer Society to remind tobacco users that you can quit.
Though this is the 37th year of the Great American Smokeout, smoking continues to be a leading cause of preventable disease and death: It kills more than 25,000 New Yorkers annually.
Quitting is the most important step you can take to reduce your cancer risk. Sixty percent of cancers could be avoided if tobacco use stopped, according to American Cancer Society estimates. Tobacco use costs New Yorkers more than $8 billion annually in healthcare–including $2.7 billion in related Medicaid expenditures. Furthermore, smoking is the major cause of lung cancer, contributing to 80 percent of lung cancer deaths in women and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in men. It is a major risk factor for lung cancer, accounting for about 80 percent of US lung cancer deaths.
Compared to people who never smoked, the odds of developing lung cancer increase 23 times for men and 13 times for women. Lung cancer is lethal–the five-year survival rate for all stages combined is only 16 percent, a statistic that has not improved in many decades.
The Great American Smokeout provides smokers the perfect opportunity to make a plan to quit smoking. Smokers can get the support they need from the North Shore-LIJ Center for Tobacco Control and the New York State Smokers’ Quitline (866-697-8487) to break free of tobacco– not just for a day, but for years to come.
Participants in free programs feeling “amazing” and “empowered” when they kick the habit. They also say that they can increase their activity level and exercise more.
Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health and the health of your family. Make tomorrow, the Great American Smokeout, the day to begin life again.