Clear the Air — It's the Great American Smokeout!

November 17 is the Great American Smokeout, a day set aside to encourage and help tobacco users become quitters.

Tobacco use in cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco remains the largest preventable cause of disease and early death in the United States. Quitting tobacco is a bold step toward a healthier life. As the American Cancer Society says, "Today's the day that quitters win."

Your wallet will recover as soon as you smoke your last cigarette, and your body soon after.

20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

Other benefits you'll soon begin to notice:

  • Food tastes better
  • Sense of smell returns to normal
  • Breath, hair and clothes smell better
  • Teeth and fingernails stop yellowing

Kicking the cigarette habit is tough. Read Be a Quitter for tips on how to get through the cravings.

Great American Smokeout!


Quick Tips for Healthy Lungs


Exercise — Aerobic exercise can help improve your lung capacity and function, as well as lift your mood.

Don't smoke! — Cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Try to prevent colds or other respiratory infections — Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Practice good oral hygiene … brush twice daily and see your dentist every six months. Get a flu vaccine each year and talk to your doctor to see if the pneumonia vaccine makes sense for you.

Avoid pollutants — Avoid secondhand smoke. Have your home tested for radon. Avoid outdoor exercise on bad air days.

Words of Wisdom:

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."

— George Eliot, novelist