More than 3 million Americans quit smoking every year

The United States is winning the war against smoking. More than 3 million Americans quit smoking every year and fewer are adopting the unhealthy and expensive habit.

“The good news is that smoking rates in the US are declining,” said Dr. Carlos Reynes, integrative medicine, Loyola University Health System’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. “From 1965 to 2006, smoking rates fell by half, falling from 42 percent to 20.8 percent of adults and we will continue to do even better through education and incentives.”

Quit Smoking

Smoking cessation

The Great American Smoke Out, a day sponsored by the American Cancer Society to end smoking, is Thursday, Nov. 17 and thousands of smokers are expected to take a 24-hour break from cigarettes.

“Twenty minutes after quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. Twelve hours after quitting the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal,” said Dr. Reynes. “One year after quitting the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.”

And you will save money. “At $7 to $9 each, a pack-a-day habit sets you back between $2,500 and $3,300 each year, ” says Dr. Reynes. “And improved health also will save you trips to the doctor.”

Dr. Reynes is board-certified in internal medicine and also integrative medicine. “Hypnosis and acupuncture as well as nicotine patches and chewing gums are just a few of the successful tools out there to help smokers kick the habit,” he said. “The important step is to make the effort to quit and if you are unsuccessful, to keep trying different techniques.”

An estimated 46 million adults in the United States currently smoke, and approximately half will die prematurely from smoking.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women and more than 80 percent of lung cancers are thought to result from smoking.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet more than 46 million Americans still smoke. However, more than half of these smokers have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year.

Dr. Reynes will be sharing medical advice during a free lecture on how to give up smoking from 7 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17 at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, a suburb of Chicago. He will be joined by a certified hypnotherapist and also a licensed acupuncturist who will share how these practices work to help decrease the urge to smoke.

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