The American Cancer Society is marking the 36th Great American Smokeout on November 17th by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking for at least that day. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, yet 46 MILLION Americans still smoke. Quitting is hard. Make no mistake about that. But help is available and can increase your chances of succeeding.
Call the American Cancer Society toll-free at 800-227-2345 or visit: www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/

There are immediate rewards to quitting smoking. To say nothing of the money you'll save, within 20 minutes of quitting your heart rate and blood pressure will drop. 12 hours after quitting the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting your circulation improves and lung function increases. 1 year after quitting, your risk or coronary heart disease is half that of someone who is still smoking. The benefits continue to increase the longer you abstain from smoking.

Smoking also harms those around you. Your family members, your children, your pets, friends, co-workers, everybody that is around a smoker is harmed in some way by their habit.

With the coming winter season, avoiding the cold is extra incentive to try to quit.

If you plan to try, I wish you the best of luck. Take advantage of programs and aids that will make quitting easier. Engage your family, friends and those close to you to help you stay smoke-free. This in one of the few circumstances where being a "quitter" is a good thing. Keep quitting as long as it takes.