Great American Smokeout is November 21st

Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) officials encourage suburban Cook County residents to set the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout as the day to quit smoking.

Currently, 22 percent of suburban Cook County residents smoke, which is slightly higher than the national average of 20.4 percent. CCDPH data indicates that 67 percent of current smokers in suburban Cook County have tried to quit smoking in the past year.

“Quitting doesn’t have to be hard; take the first step and set a date to quit,” CCDPH COO Dr. Terry Mason “We had a suburban Cook County resident named Carolyn help us with a smoking cessation campaign a couple years ago. She smoked for more than forty years and decided to quit and then she declared herself a Forever Quitter.”

Set November 21st as the day you become a Forever Quitter, here’s how:

Quit Today. Tobacco harms nearly every organ in your body. However, within minutes of quitting your heart rate and blood pressure will drop and within hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

Keep a Smoke-free Home. A smoke-free home protects your family from second-hand smoke and makes children less likely to smoke, even if their parents smoke. Smoking around kids can trigger asthma attacks, cause respiratory problems and increase incidences of ear infections. For a child who is exposed to secondhand smoke from birth, by age five, they will have inhaled more than 100 packs of cigarettes.

Encourage your kids not to smoke. Kids are very vulnerable to tobacco advertising and most adult, long time smokers admit to starting their habit before the age of 18. Learn more at: http://www.thatsjustnasty.com/.

To hear Carolyn’s story and more, visit http://www.cookcountypublichealth.org/. Share your success story with us on Twitter: @CookCoHealth using #ForeverQuitter.

For assistance on quitting smoking, call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline at 1-866 QUIT YES or visit: http://www.quityes.org/.