To the editor:
No matter how old you are or how long you've smoked, quitting can help you live longer and be healthier. You can take the first step toward that goal by participating in the Great American Smokeout on Thursday Nov. 15.
Quitting smoking is not easy, but the good news is that the healing process begins on the first day that you quit. Twenty minutes after your last cigarette, your blood pressure begins to decrease and pulse rate begins to drop. After eight hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal and the oxygen level increases to normal. Just 24 hours after your last cigarette, your chance of a heart attack has decreased.
"In 2010, 74 percent of adult New York smokers said they wanted to quit," said Katie Strack, director of public health in Franklin County. "The Great American Smokeout provides them with an ideal opportunity.
"You will feel the difference when you quit," Katie said. "You will breathe more easily, have more energy, lower your risk of heart attack, have a better sense of smell and taste, and be able to walk more easily."
Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Tobacco kills more Americans each year than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fires and AIDS combined.
The New York State Smokers' Quitline helps smokers in their goal to overcome the addiction of tobacco. Call the Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487), or visit the Quitline website at www.nysmokefree.com for free help and a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches. This is a free, confidential service that can help you become smoke-free.
Franklin County Public Health