Thursday will mark the 37th Great American Smokeout and smokers are encouraged to quit smoking, if only for that single day. The event evolved from the first Smokeout held in San Francisco’s Union Square November 16, 1977.
However, the California Division of the American Cancer Society held an event a year earlier in November of 1976 that saw nearly one-million smokers quit for a day. The following year, Berkeley, Calif., became the first city to not allow smoking in restaurants and public places.
Cigarettes, cigars, pipe smoking and tobacco chew remain the largest cause of disease and early death in the nation. Nearly one in every five adults, about 44 million Americans, still smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is responsible for one in three cancer deaths.
According the Center for Disease Control (CDC) if you quit smoking Thursday within 20 minutes your heart rate will drop. Twelve hours after quitting the carbon monoxide level in your blood will return to normal. The longer you quit the better. Within 2 to 3 months your heart attack risk will begin to drop and your lung function will improve and as time progresses your chances of a stroke or heart attack will become the same as a non-smoker...