SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Quitting tobacco starts with Day 1. The Snohomish Health District is joining other partners across the country to urge smokers to make November 15 their “Day 1.”
The American Cancer Society has hosted the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November for more than 40 years. Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of death and illness. Each year, more than 480,000 deaths in the U.S. are caused by smoking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Quitting tobacco is the single greatest thing you can do for your health,” said Juliet D'Alessandro, a healthy communities specialist with the Health District. “The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity to make a plan, or encourage your friends and family to quit smoking.”
Here are 15 reasons to quit smoking during the 43rd Great American Smokeout:
- Stay Healthy: Cigarette smoke contains high levels of tar and other chemicals that can make your immune system less effective. People who smoke are more likely to get sick.
- Lose the Cough: Smokers are at higher risk of acute and chronic bronchitis. Between one and nine months after quitting, your lungs will be better able to clear themselves of mucus and phlegm.
- Smell the Roses: Shortly after quitting, your sense of smell returns to normal.
- Save Money: A pack of cigarettes can cost upward of $11 in Washington State. Quitting could save you thousands of dollars a year.
- Taste More Flavors: A few days after quitting, your taste buds kick back in. You can rediscover foods that previously had lost their flavor.
- Smell Better: Once you quit smoking, you will be free from the clinging smell of tobacco smoke on your clothing, hair and breath.
- Protect the Environment: Cigarette butts are one of the largest sources of litter in the U.S., and can leach toxins into the environment. About 4.5 trillion cigarettes are littered every year worldwide.
- Stay Warm and Dry: Just a few weeks after quitting, your circulation improves and blood can more easily get to your extremities and keep them warmer. Also, you won’t have to go out in the cold and rain to smoke.
- Have a Healthy Mouth: Tobacco products can cause real harm to your oral health. Quitting could protect you from enamel erosion, gum disease and oral cancer.
- Protect your Pets: Pets are vulnerable to secondhand smoke. Smoking in the home can make your pets more likely to develop breathing problems and certain cancers.
- Catch Your Breath: Lung function can improve just weeks after quitting.
- Keep Your Youth: Giving up smoking can help prevent premature aging and wrinkles.
- De-Stress Your Heart: Smoking raises blood pressure and heart rate, which makes the heart work extra hard to pump blood through your body. Quitting smoking lowers your risk of a heart attack and heart disease.
- Protect Your Friends and Family: There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Since 1964, approximately 2.5 million non-smokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Live Longer: On average, non-smokers live about 10 years longer than people who smoke.
It’s a difficult addiction to beat, but resources such as telephone quit lines and support from loved ones make it more manageable. Anyone thinking about quitting can call 1-800-784-8669.
The Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. To read more about the District and for important health information, visit www.snohd.org.