BANGOR – For 40 years, The American Cancer Society’ Great American Smokeout challenged people to put an end to tobacco process. Medical professionals are encouraging people to take advantage of the benefits of living a healthier life.
“It’s a day that we are asking people to start their quitting journey from what we have seen statistically – most smokers want to quit,” said Cherilee Budrick, the spokesperson for The American Cancer Society, “It’s not just smoking, it’s any tobacco products really.”
People have seen the ads and know the consequences, but people are still smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco related products.
“Smoking is the number one killer,” said Dr. Ganesha Santhyadka, a Pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital, “We have about 40 million people and every year, almost 500,000 people die from smoking or other related health problems.”
Now smokers do not have to feel trapped. This day helps encourage those looking to break free of the addiction by providing a way to begin the healing process.
“When you stop smoking, just within a few hours, there are changes that you can see in the body,” he said.
Your body begins to heal itself and chances for diseases decreases.
“Smoking just one cigarette causes so many mutations in the cells in the lining membranes in the lungs,” said Santhyadka, “Which can cause more problems down the line.”
“The sooner you start, the much better your health outcomes are,” said Budrick.
70 percent of smokers want to quit and now have numerous of resources to help them with the process.
“It is the number one most preventable way to prevent cancer,” she said.
“Each cigarettes contains 70 elements which have been proven to be cancerous,” said Santhyadka, “It has like 7,000 things in one cigarette.”