Every year, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout® by smoking less or quitting for the day on the third Thursday of November.
No matter how long you have been smoking, it’s never too late to quit. Consider this;
- Just 12 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal
- 1 to 9 months after quitting, shortness of breath and coughing are reduced
- 1 year after quitting, your risk of heart disease is half that of current smokers
- 5 years after quitting, your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half
- 10 years after quitting, your risk of lung cancer is about half that of current smokers.
According to the American Cancer Society, smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have some means of support, such as nicotine replacement products, counseling, prescription medicine to lessen cravings, guide books and the encouragement of friends and family members.
The Suffolk County Office of Health Education offers smoking cessation programs, which provide behavior modification and supportive pharmaceuticals to medically eligible participants. All cessation programs are supervised by a nurse practitioner and provided at no cost, though medications recommended by the FDA will be available for a $50 fee.