If there was ever a day to quit smoking, today is it.
The American Cancer Society is marking the 36th Great American Smokeout on Nov. 17 by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit. By doing so, the society says, smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., yet more than 46 million Americans still smoke, the American Cancer Society reports. However, more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year.
Milford Hospital Can Help
Diane Frankel Gramelis, the director of education at , says she knows how difficult it can be to quit smoking, noting how nicotine is now widely recognized as a more addictive drug than crack cocaine.
The key to quitting, she says, is that smokers look at it as a challenge - one they can overcome. It's all about the positive attitude. Gramelis quotes Henry Ford, who said, "Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you're right."
Aside from the savings one may reap from quitting -- cigarettes in Connecticut wil now run you about $8 per pack -- the health incentives are priceless. Gramelis notes:
- 75 percent of most illness are tobacco related
- 1 cigarette depletes oxygen to fingers and toes for up to six hours. (What then happens is your body is not working as well as it should)
- 7,305 -- that's the number of cigerettes one will smoke in one year if they smoke one pack per day
- $2,920 -- that's how much you spend each year if you smoke one pack a day at $8 a pop
Quitting smoking, Gramelis says, is "probably the most important thing you can do for yourself."
And help is available. Starting Jan. 11, Milford Hospital will kick-off a 6-week smoke cessation program called "Freedom From Smoking." It will meet once a week on Wednesdays, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
For more information about that program, call Diane Frankel Gramelis at Milford Hospital at 203-876-4003.
- The American Cancer Society -- Call 1-800-227-2345 or visit the society online
- Connecticut Quitline -- Tobacco Use Cessation Assistance available 7 days a week. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or 1-800-784-8669
- BecomeAnEX.org -- Re-learn Life Without Cigarettes, brought to you by the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation