By Ralph Hipp
Today's the day for the Great American Smokeout! Smokers are encouraged to use this day to make their plans to quit, and quit for good. Smokers who quit can expect to live another ten years, that's ten more birthdays, than those who can't kick the habit. There's never been a better time to quit. You can even take the 2010 Facebook Challenge and pledge to stay smoke free. The goal is to obtain 2,010 pledges this year. Whether you're a smoker or non-smoker, you can take the pledge by clicking on the fan page at www.facebook.com/2010KansasGASO and clicking the "like" button.
Here are more reasons to make a pledge to stop smoking. Tobacco use remains the world’s most preventable cause of death. Cigarette smoking accounts for about 443,000 premature deaths; including nealry 50,000 non-smokers.
Thirty percent of cancer deaths, including 87% of lung cancer deaths, can be linked to smoking..
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women.
In Kansas this year, about 1,990 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and about 1,590 will die from it.
20% of high schoolers are cigarette smokers. Smoking accounts for $193 billion of our nation's health care costs.
Secondhand smoke is estimated to cause about 3,000 lung cancer deaths here and around the nation in non-smokers each year. Of that total, 380 lives will be lost in Kansas due to secondhand smoke.
Need help today? Or tomorrow? Please the call the quit hotline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Please share your experiences with us as a smoker, what you've done to try to quit, and how hard it is to make it stick. Happy Smokeout Day, and hope you can kick the habit in 2010!