Effective January 1, 2008 the State of Illinois implemented a statewide smoking ban that eliminated smoking at all liquor-licensed establishments.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and woman in the United States, with nearly 200,000 new cases diagnosed annually and an estimated 160,000 deaths per year. Tobacco use is linked to nearly 90 percent of all lung cancer cases. In fact, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death contributing to more than 400,000 deaths per year. Smoking doesn’t just lead to lung cancer; it increases your likelihood of suffering from many different types of cancer and is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, and chronic lung disease. Additionally, another 30,000 deaths annually can be linked to second-hand smoke exposure.
In a commitment to better the health of a nation, health care professionals and the American Cancer Society continue to strive in educating and assisting smokers to kick the habit. Many people have been successful, but do not get discouraged if you have tried and not succeeded. About 70 percent of smokers want to quit and the average smoker will take six to nine tries before quitting completely. Now’s the best time to pick yourself up and try again! With over half of the United States covered by smoke free laws, the multitude of support groups locally and nationally, and the availability of tobacco cessation aids and medications, today is as good of a time as any to toss the cigarettes out and embrace a healthier you.
This is surely the best gift you could ever give yourself or your loved ones. The health benefits of quitting start almost immediately with reductions in blood pressure and pulse occurring with the first few days. It also improves circulation and ability to breath in the first few months, as well as reduces the risk of a heart attack by half in the first year!
No one said quitting is easy, but the benefits of quitting are priceless. Talk with your health care provider about ways that may help you quit. Research indicates that you are twice as likely to succeed with the use of a tobacco cessation medication. There are over the counter aids such as nicotine replacement agents (patch, gum, spray, inhaler, lozenge), websites, telephone support centers, and medications such as Bupropion and Chantix that can be prescribed by your doctor to help you succeed. Success rates vary depending on the method used, but can be as high as 40 percent in just 12 weeks! Sometimes more than one method is needed depending on what kind of smoker you are and how heavily you currently smoke.
Help is out there for the 46 million people who smoke. Take one day at a time. Talk with your doctor; we can help.