About one-in-five adults in Nebraska smoke cigarettes, according to a recent survey. Many of them will try to kick the habit this Thursday as part of American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.
Garin Buttermore, an anti-smoking advocate, says the move to quit using tobacco has nearly immediate results.
“Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. Within two to three months, your circulation improves and your lung function increases,” Buttermore says.
People who quit smoking also save a lot of money and usually notice food tastes better. Buttermore gave up cigarettes more than 13 years ago. He admits it’s easier to quit for some than it is for others.
Buttermore says he occasionally struggled with the urge to “light up” again for a few years after he quit, but now he has no problem being tobacco free.
“Some people still have those triggers and it can be a struggle every day, while some people don’t even take as long as it did me to get past those urges,” Buttermore says.
The overall smoking rate in Nebraska is 18.9%, just slightly below the national average of 19.7%.
The Nebraska Tobacco Quitline is available 24/7 at 800-QUIT-NOW or online at quitnow.ne.gov