Nov. 16 is the Great American Smokeout. This is a day that provides support, resources, and motivation to help overcome tobacco addiction and reduce the harmful health effects of smoking. On Nov. 16, take part in The Great American Smokeout by starting or planning your journey toward a smoke-free lifestyle.
Smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States, causing more than 480,000 deaths every year. Tobacco use accounts for more deaths than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. In addition to this staggering number, thousands more die from other tobacco-related causes. In Nevada, approximately 15 percent of adults and 5 percent of youth smoke according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It is known that smoking affects nearly every organ of a smoker’s body, but what is less known is that smoking can negatively impact the health of other non-smokers. Did you know that commercial tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals? Hundreds of these chemicals are toxic and around 70 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke and even brief exposure can cause serious health problems such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer in individuals who do not smoke.
There are many health benefits to quitting. Quitting lowers the risk of many adverse health effects for the individual including reproductive health outcomes, cardiovascular disease, COPD and reduces the risk of 12 types of cancers.
The most important action a person can take to improve their health is to quit smoking, regardless of their age or how long they’ve been smoking. Although quitting can be difficult, it is possible. Tobacco dependence is driven by addiction to nicotine which is found in all tobacco products. There are proven treatments and strategies to help people successfully quit smoking, which include counseling and medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In fact, according to the surgeon general report, 50 percent of adults who smoke try quitting each year and three in five succeed.
After the last cigarette, the body begins a series of positive changes within minutes and more will continue for years to come. To have the best chance at success for quitting, the evidence shows you need to combine counseling with medications. Check with your insurance provider to see what cessation coverage is offered, as many insurance providers offer cessation services and medications.
Do you need help quitting?
Nevada offers free counseling through the Nevada Tobacco Quitline with a professional. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), text QUITNOW to 333888 or enroll online at www.nevadatobaccoquitline.com to connect with your personal quitting coach. The quitline is offering two weeks’ worth of free nicotine replacement therapy such as gum, patches, lozenges, and more, but only while supplies last to all participants 18-plus who enroll.
For youth, go to www.MyLifeMyQuit.com or text “Start My Quit” to 36072. Here’s to your journey toward a smoke free lifestyle. Get Healthy Carson City.
For information about services and programs available to you through Carson City Health and Human Services, visit our website at https://gethealthycarsoncity.org/, or give us a call at 775-887-2190. You can also find us at 900 E. Long St., in Carson City or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/cchhs, X formerly known as Twitter @CCHealthEd, or Instagram @GetHealthCarsonCity.