When it comes to heart disease and stroke, smoking is the most preventable risk factor! That's why we encourage people to quit smoking or make a plan to quit on November 16, the 42nd annual Great American Smokeout.
hero_image_alt_text===Man rejecting a cigarette
thumbnail_alt_text===Man rejecting a cigarette
How Quitting Smoking Impacts Your Health
According to the American Heart Association and the U.S. surgeon general, this is how your body starts to recover when you quit smoking:
- In the first 20 minutes: your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the nicotine-induced spikes.
- After 12 hours: the carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal.
- After two weeks: your circulation and lung function begin to improve.
- After one to nine months: clear and deeper breathing gradually returns; you have less coughing and shortness of breath; you regain the ability to cough productively instead of hacking, which cleans your lungs and reduce your risk of infection.
- After one year: your risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by 50 percent.
- After 5 years: Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Your risk of cervical cancer and stroke return to normal.
- After 10 years: You are half as likely to die from lung cancer. Your risk of larynx or pancreatic cancer decreases.
- After 15 years: your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s.
Visit heart.org for tips to quit smoking.
Let's Help Youth Not Start Smoking
Did you know that 95% of smokers begin smoking before age 21? And many smokers move from experimenting with tobacco to regular smoking during the ages of 18-21. That's why tobacco companies target kids and young adults. Once our youth is addicted to nicotine, it is difficult for them to stop, and the health consequences begin immediately and accumulate over a lifetime.
According to the CDC, one of every three young smokers will eventually die of a smoking-related illness or disease. Since tobacco is so harmful, we should do everything we can to prevent tobacco use among young people. In an effort to reduce our youth's access to, and use of, tobacco products, the American Heart Association urges Florida legislators to support a bill that would increase the minimum legal sale age for tobacco products to 21. We hope you'll join us in this effort to reduce smoking and save lives! Let's prevent the tobacco industry from attracting a new, loyal generation of users!
We'd love to hear from you. How will you celebrate the Great American Smokeout? Do you support prohibiting retailers from selling tobacco products to anyone under 21? Comment below!