Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa smokers are being urged to try and quit just for Thursday as part of the 40th annual Great American Smokeout, in hopes they may be able to quit for a week, for a month, and for good. Brian Ortner, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society, says giving up cigarettes and other tobacco products can bring almost immediate results, in addition to the long-term improvements in health.
It’s often helpful for smokers to tell those around them they’re trying to quit but he says the important thing is to make an effort.
If today isn’t “the” day, he suggests setting a date to quit and sticking to it. Ortner says he quit on Christmas Eve nine years ago and remains a non-smoker. The Smokeout effort began as a statewide initiative in California in 1976 and went nationwide the following year and Ortner says we’ve seen four decades of progress.
Lung cancer is Iowa’s top cancer killer. There were more than 2,400 new lung cancer cases diagnosed in Iowa last year and nearly 1,800 deaths.