Great American Smokeout is November 19: Quit Today for a Healthier Tomorrow

Wednesday, 04 November 2009

NVFC Partners With Pfizer to Officer Smoking Cessation Tools, Resources

You’ve heard the reasons that smoking is bad for you: increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers; potential lung disease; loss of smell and taste. But maybe you have found it difficult to select your quit date and take the steps to become smoke-free. The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Great American Smokeout, held this year on November 19, is an annual event which encourages smokers nationwide to quit smoking. Take advantage of the resources and support available and make November 19 the first day of your life as a non-smoker.


No matter how long you've smoked, quitting has immediate benefits. Within minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years. For example:

  • 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate drops.
  • 12 hours after quitting, carbon monoxide levels in your blood drop to normal.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting, your heart attack risk begins to drop, and your lung function begins to improve.
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting, your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
  • 1 year after quitting, your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker's risk.
  • 5 to 15 years after quitting, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker's.
  • 10 years after quitting, your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker's. Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
  • 15 years after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is now the same as that of a non-smoker's.

Since its inception in 2003, the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program has provided resources and information to help firefighters quit smoking. Now, the NVFC has partnered with Pfizer Inc. to develop an in-depth smoking cessation program for firefighters. The program was piloted in North Carolina earlier this year and will be launched nationwide with an interactive web site in 2010. Stay tuned to the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program web site for more information.

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