Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States and worldwide, per the American Cancer Society. And in the 2010 McHenry County Healthy Community Study, it was reported that in McHenry County lung cancer is the leading cause of death among men and women ages 45 – 74 years of age.
Tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Because cigarette smoking and tobacco use are activities that people choose to do, smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society. It’s never too late to quit smoking – look at these immediate benefits:
- 20 minutes after quitting smoking – your heart rate and blood pressure drop
- 12 hours after quitting – the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal
- 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting – your circulation improves and your lung function increases
- 20% of high school students were smoking in 2009 and 5% of middle school students were smoking. This continues to be a problem for our children.
Learn more at the American Cancer Society page.Did you know that one large cigar can contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes? And the secondhand smoke it gives off, which others breathe in, can fill a room for hours.
Did you know that non-smokers who breathe in secondhand smoke take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just like smokers do? About 3,400 lung cancer deaths are as a result of breathing secondhand smoke, per the American Cancer Society. Learn more about secondhand smoke here.
What can you do to take care of yourself?
- Thinking about quitting smoking? Set a quit date and make sure you have strong support.
- Check out the Freedom from Smoking program that has helped hundreds of people quit smoking!
- Ask your employer if nicotine replacement is a part of your Wellness Benefit
- Visit your primary care doctor regularly
- Get a CT Lung Screening to check the health of your lungs
Now available at Centegra Health System is an easy, non-invasive way to effectively check the health of your lungs with a CT Lung Screening. Read more about the National Lung Screening Trial that showed that CT scanning reduced the odds of lung cancer death by 20%, compared with screening by a simple chest x-ray.Check out the American Lung Association’s recommendation.Whether you are a current or past heavy smoker, checking the health of your lungs is important to living a long, healthy life. Check back soon to find out how you can find out the health of your lungs with this simple test.