The Illinois Department of Public Health is asking residents to make a commitment to stop smoking in support of the Great American Smokeout Nov. 20.
This annual health observance challenges tobacco users across the nation to quit using tobacco for one day or make a plan to quit for good.
Smoking is responsible for nearly one in three cancer deaths, and one in five deaths from all causes. Another 8.6 million people live with serious illnesses caused by smoking.
“Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S.,” IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. “By quitting smoking, you lower your risk for lung cancer and other types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).”
The benefits of quitting are experienced immediately. Within 20 minutes of the last cigarette, a person’s blood pressure and pulse rate drop to normal and body temperature in hands and feet increase. Within nine hours of the last cigarette, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal and the oxygen level increases to normal. After going just one day without smoking, a person’s chance of a heart attack decreases.
For many, quitting can be difficult, therefore residents are encouraged to contact the Illinois Tobacco Quitline for help. Quitline staff can help cigarette, cigar and pipe smokers, as well as, snuff and chew tobacco users. Counselors provide expert advice, addiction assessment, customized quit plans, quit kits, craving support and follow-up.
The Quitline is available between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week. Call (866) QUIT-YES or visit the website www.quityes.org for help.
The Quitline is funded through IDPH and operated by the American Lung Association. This partnership was created to help people quit using tobacco. Counseling services are free.