Great American Smokeout challenges smokers to quit for one day

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -  You might think smoking is old news, but there are about 42 million Americans who still smoke cigarettes, and almost 16 million smoke cigars and pipes, according to the American Cancer Society.

Today is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout. The group says tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in our country. By quitting at any age, you can get years of your life back, that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

  • If you stop smoking today, within just 12 hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • If you make it permanent beyond today, within 2 weeks to 3 months you'll notice your circulation improve and your lungs work better.
  • Between 1 to 9 months, that cough and shortness of breath you experience will decrease.
  • And within just one year, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half of that of a smoker.

If you are trying to quit smoking, the American Cancer Society says by quitting for even one day, smokers take an important step toward a healthier life. There are tools available to help people who want to quit. You can access them at

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