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Picture of a cigarette being put out. Great American Smoke Out. Be a quitter, it's never to late.

GREAT AMERICAN SMOKE OUT -- TIME FOR A NEW START


Quitting smoking isn't easy. It takes time. And a plan. You don't have to stop smoking in one day. Start with day one. Let the Great American Smoke Out event on the third Thursday in November be your day to start your journey toward a smoke-free life. You'll be joining thousands of people who smoke across the country in taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing your cancer risk. No matter your age or how long you've been smoking, quitting improves health both immediately and over the long term.

About 32.4 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. And more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.

Quitting smoking lowers your risk of cancers over time, including cancers of the lungs, stomach, pancreas, liver, cervix, and colon and rectum, as well as acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Quitting also lowers your risk of diabetes, helps your blood vessels work better, and helps your heart and lungs. It can also add as much as 10 years to your life, compared to if you continued to smoke. Quitting while you're younger can reduce your health risks more (for example, quitting before the age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related disease by about 90%), but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

Kicking the tobacco habit offers some other rewards that you'll notice right away and some that will show up over time. Right away you'll save the money you spent on tobacco. And here are just a few other benefits you may notice food tastes better, your sense of smell returns to normal, your breath, hair, and clothes smell better, your teeth and fingernails stop yellowing and ordinary activities (for example, climbing stairs or light housework) leave you less out of breath. Quitting also helps stop the damaging effects of tobacco on how you look, including premature wrinkling of your skin, gum disease, and tooth loss.

If you decide that now is the time to stop smoking and need help, contact your local physician or one of the physicians at Sabetha Family Practice, (785) 284-2141, and ask for help. Let Thursday, November 18, 2021, be your Great American Smoke Out Day. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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