Experts encourage Lubbockites to stop smoking as 44th annual ‘Great American Smokeout’ kicks off

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LUBBOCK, Texas — The Great American Smokeout has kicked off their annual drive to end smoking habits. The campaign takes place the third Thursday in November.

The American Cancer Society has dedicated their campaign to help encourage people to stop smoking, as smoking negatively impacts your body overall.

“Poor lungs can definitely affect your whole body because that’s where we get our oxygen from. And so it can affect the heart, it can affect the brain, your organs if you’re not getting enough oxygen, so poor lungs not only affects your breathing, but can affect your whole body,” Ebtesam Islam, M.D. a care physician at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, said.

Islam said anything we inhale can cause damage to our lungs, depending of how much we are taking in and our sensitivity.

“Texas is above the national smoking average. And Lubbock is above that average, as well,” said Jennifer Puryear, managing partner at the American Cancer Society. “Smoking is a real concern for residents of this area.”

Puryear said 34 million Americans in the United States smoke. She said smokers’ lungs still have a chance to recover.

“[Lung recovery] starts 20 minutes after your last cigarette,” Puryear said. “So, 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your blood pressure can go down, and then up to 10 years, you’re at half of the risk that you were while you were smoking, of cardiovascular disease.”

The American Cancer Society shared tips to help people, who are willing, to stop smoking and end the stigma of smokers:

  • Find a ‘quit smoking’ program
  • Take medication
  • Find therapy
  • Consider a counselor
  • Have an open conversation

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