Valley Health System News Service: American Cancer Society's (ACS) Great American Smokeout

Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The American Cancer Society's (ACS) Great American Smokeout— which always falls on the third Thursday of November — is just days away. If you're a smoker or tobacco user who's been looking for some inspiration, this might just be it. On November 21, the ACS encourages smokers across the nation to use the date to make a plan to quit, even if only for the day.

"Quitting smoking is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health," says Robert Korst, M.D., Medical Director of the Blumenthal Cancer Center and Director of Thoracic Surgery at The Valley Hospital. "And no matter how long you've smoked or how often you've tried to quit, it's never too late to try again."

If you need encouragement to quit, the ACS suggests you consider these facts about how fast your body recovers once you put out that last cigarette, cigar or pipe. After:

• 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

• 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

• 2 - 3 months, your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

• 1 - 9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

• 1 year, your risk of heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker.

• 5 years, your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder are cut in half.

• 10 years, the risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person still smoking.

• 15 years, your risk of heart disease is that of a non-smoker.

For more information on Valley's Smoking Cessation Program, click here or call 201-447-8612.

Valley Health News Service, brought to you by Valley Health System, provides periodic news and information for our community. For more information about Valley Health System, visit us at