Are you still smoking? Have you ever tried quitting? Perhaps you’ve quit in the past, but then you experience some sort of trauma that makes you pick them up one more time…
With the Great American Smokeout® coming up on November 19th, now is the time to make the decision to quit once and for all. And, since it’s American Diabetes Month and the cost of prescription medications and health care costs on the rise — these factors might be reason enough.
The American Diabetes Association has long advised diabetics to avoid tobacco smoke, says Robert Ratner, the group’s chief scientific and medical officer. Smoking impairs how the body responds to insulin, he says.
Ratner says the science on smoking and diabetes is not clear-cut. Though population-based studies show smokers have an increased risk of diabetes, Ratner says, “I am unaware of any data which directly links smoking to causing diabetes.”
Smoking creates a huge financial toll, as well, costing the country nearly $286 billion a year in direct medical costs of smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke, as well as in lost productivity due to premature deaths, the new surgeon general report says.
About 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. As of 2013, there were also 12.4 million cigar smokers in the US, and over 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.
By quitting, even it’s it just for one day you will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and one that can lead to reducing your cancer risk. Taking the step in that one day, could lead to another day, and another, and another – you get the gist.
Just think about these facts and imagine how much better you’ll feel if you quit:
- In just 20 minutes your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
- After 12 hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- In 2-3 weeks your circulation and lung function improve, so you can exercise and breathe more easily. Exercise will help you feel better on many other levels, too!
- In one – 9 months you will regain your sense of taste and smell, and cough less. I’ve actually had people tell me that they experience this even after just a few days!
- In one year your heart disease risk is lowered by 50%. Imagine the pain and cost that will save alone!
- After five years your risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancers are 50% less. Your risk of cervical cancer and stroke are the same as a non-smoker’s. Think about how many doctor’s visits can be avoided, just by not picking up another pack of cigarettes!
- In 10 years you’re 50% less likely to die from lung cancer. Your risks of larynx, kidney and pancreatic cancers decrease. Hmmm… suffer and die from lung cancer or breathe easily for years to come? What’s your choice?
- In 15 years your heart disease risk is that of a non-smoker.
Do we have you thinking yet? You can save time, money and your health simply by choosing to quit. You have the power to do this.
Now here are some tools to get you started:
The Quit For Life® Program, provided by the American Cancer Society and Alere Health, offers a free smartphone app for iPhone and Android that offers daily tips and motivation, a cost-savings calculator, and a calendar to track your success.
The National Cancer Institute also has a quit-smoking app that allows users to set quit dates, track financial goals, schedule reminders, and more. It also offers a text messaging service that provides round-the-clock encouragement and advice to people trying to quit. You can sign up by texting “QUIT” to iQUIT (47848) and selecting a date to stop smoking.