Today is the 33rd annual Great American Smokeout, and it comes with news that smoking rates have declined in Nebraska and the U-S. Christopher Squier, a member of the American Cancer Society, says there are areas where the state’s anti-smoking effort needs more work.
He says smoking among young adults is still higher than among the general population, and he says smoking among young women is also higher. Squier says there needs to be more focus on those groups. He says stopping smoking isn’t easy and support systems are key.
Smokers need help to stop and he says the Quitline helps as it gives smokers access to the nicotine patch and gum and helps them quit. It’s toll free, 800-Quit-Now.
Nebraska will see about 24-hundred deaths from tobacco-related illnesses this year, while those illnesses will cost about half-a-billion-dollars in terms of health care. About 20-percent of Nebraska’s adults and high schoolers smoke, a number that’s fallen over the years and which is in line with the national average.
Squier says those who struggle giving up cigarettes should take heart that persistence will pay off. He says three-quarters of all smokers want to quit, and about half try to quit every year, with only about seven percent who quit, do so for good. “And that means if you do quit and you take up smoking again, you don’t have to be alarmed, it does happen,” Squier says, “you’ve got to try again. And in fact, it’s shown that the more often you try to quit, the easier it does get.”
Squier says smokers will enjoy better health. He says many smokers have respiratory diseases, that he says will decrease rapidly once you quit smoking. Squier says the risk of other diseases will also go down, and after about 10 years the risk will be about the same as if you hadn’t smoked.
You can call the American Cancer Society Quitline at 800-227-2345 for help in quitting, or visit the American Cancer Society‘s website.