Great American Smokeout aims to help kick tobacco habits

National push to end smoking to occur this week.

There are several addicting habits or materials out there today, and one of the most addicting is smoking.

"It's very addictive... the nicotine is very addictive," says Deb Twyford, RN and Tobacco Cessation Facilitator with Mercy Medical Center. "That makes it very difficult to quit."

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. According to the American Lung Association, every year more than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure.

That is why the American Cancer Society presents the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November as an intervention in tobacco use.

"It's one of the best things that you can do for your health and for your loved ones, too," says Twyford.

Before quitting, you need to get some things in place.

"Try to think of what you're going to do instead of smoking and try to get some resources available for yourself," says Twyford.

Twyford recommends keeping active and engaging in fun activities to help people kick the habit.

The benefits of quitting aren't just down the road. They are often immediate as well.

"Well within twenty minutes, your blood pressure and heart rate drop to a normal level," says Twyford. "Also, your carbon monoxide levels in twelve hours will drop to a normal level."

And, just as the motto goes, if at first you don't succeed, Twyford says, "Try again. A lot of people, it takes five or six times, others maybe two or three. Keep trying. It's definitely worth trying for your health."

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