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Make the choice to quit

Published on March 17, 2016

Make the choice to quit

Sarah Volker, BS, CTTS
Exercise Physiologist/Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist

17.8 percent of all adults in the U.S. currently smoke cigarettes.“An estimated 42.1 million people or 17.8 percent of all adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes.” ~ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Did you know that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.? One out of every five deaths (480,000 deaths) is caused by cigarette smoke each year. Yet there still is an allure surrounding smoking that continues to capture the attention of American teenagers.

No matter what your age or how long you’ve been smoking, quitting smoking is a battle you can begin today, right now, to ensure a longer and healthier life. The American Cancer Society has proven time and time again that ex-smokers enjoy a higher quality of life and well-being, with improved overall immunity as well as reduced rates of bronchitis and pneumonia. Smoking is not hot, so take a stand and make the choice to quit.

Health benefits of smoking cessation:

  • 20 minutes after quitting, heart rate and blood pressure decreases; circulation of hands and feet begin to increase
  • 12 hours after quitting, carbon monoxide levels in the blood stream drop to normal
  • 2 weeks-3 months after quitting, circulation and lung function improves
  • 1-9 months after quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decrease, cilia (the tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) return to normal function so they can clean the lungs and reduce the chances of infection
  • 1 year after quitting, the risk of a heart attack drops sharply

Indulge in good health

Working together with your health care provider you can increase your odds of winning back control over your life. We understand the agony that comes with stopping smoking and they can continue motivating and supporting you even when you’re ready to give up.

Be smarter than your addiction. Partner up with your health care provider today to get through those first days and break free to the beautiful life ahead of you!

Get help from CentraCare Health’s Outpatient Nicotine Dependence Program.

Health information accessed through is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information on our web site and “For the Health of It” blog. However, this information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please contact your health care provider if you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health. Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

About the Author

sarah volkerSarah Volker, BS, CTTS,
Exercise Physiologist/Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist

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