ALTON – OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center will support the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, at the cafeterias on the OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center and OSF Saint Clare’s Hospital campuses.
Attendees can register to win a free turkey by answering our one-question smoking cessation quiz. In addition, recipes and information will be available on quitting and sustaining a smoke-free lifestyle. As a bonus, anyone who turns in their pack of cigarettes will receive a $5 voucher toward lunch in the cafeteria.
“If you’re a smoker, this is a great time to quit and possibly win a turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner,” said Tammy Stilwell, OSF Saint Anthony’s Outreach Coordinator. “At the very least, you can make the decision to quit, turn in your pack of cigarettes and get a free lunch. And no matter what you order for lunch, you will have already made the healthiest decision you could ever make.”
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), tobacco use remains the largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. They offer this encouraging reminder — the benefits of quitting start immediately.
Smoking cessation benefits, according to the ACS:
- After just 20 minutes: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
- 12 hours: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2-3 weeks/months: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
- 1-9 months: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease, cilia start to regain normal function. Lungs become cleaner and reduce your chances of infections.
- 1 year: Risk of coronary disease is halved compared to continued smoking.
- 5 years: Risk of certain cancers and stroke are halved. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker.
- 10 years: The risk of dying from lung cancer is halved and risk of larynx and pancreas cancer decreases.
- 15 years: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker.
For smokers who need help quitting, OSF Saint Anthony’s smoking cessation class will resume in January 2015. The health center uses the American Lung Association’s “Freedom from Smoking” program.
“I’m really excited about our smoking cessation classes. Last session, we had over 20 people register,” said Tina Bennett, OSF Saint Anthony’s smoking cessation instructor. “Everyone is different. Some people have been able to quit immediately on their own, and others may try several times and need support. However you do it, the important thing is to not give up on trying to quit.”
For more information on the Great American Smokeout or smoking cessation classes, call the OSF Saint Anthony’s Resource Center at (618) 463-2264.