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Great American Smokeout: Commit to being Tobacco Free

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indiana state department of health
Tomorrow is the 38th Great American Smokeout and health officials are raising awareness of the benefits of not smoking. According to the Indiana Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an estimated 24-percent of Hoosier adults were smokers in 2012. Lung cancer is the leading cause of preventable and premature cancer deaths in Indiana, killing 38-hundred Hoosiers each year. The Great American Smokeout, as part of lung cancer awareness month, is asking everyone to be smoke-free tomorrow (Thursday), or to make plans to quit smoking, or to encourage a friend or loved one to quit.
Smoking accounts for 87 percent of lung cancer deaths, and at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths. If all tobacco smoking were stopped, the occurrence of lung cancer would decrease by an estimated 90 percent; however, according to the Indiana Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an estimated 24 percent of Indiana adults were current smokers in 2012, placing them at great risk for developing lung and other types of cancer. People who quit smoking significantly reduce their risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases.
“The positive health effects of quitting smoking begin immediately,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Within 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse return to normal levels. Within 72 hours, the chance of a heart attack drops and sense of smell and taste begin to return. In three months, lung capacity increases and in one year, risk of heart attack is cut in half. Within five years, the heart disease rate drops to that of a non-smoker.”
For more information about local tobacco control coalitions, visit www.in.gov/isdh/tpc/2350.htm
“Hoosiers can also use this day to make a plan to quit smoking or tobacco use, or to encourage a friend or loved one to quit,” said Miranda Spitznagle, Director of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation at the State Health Department. “Indiana residents can receive free help in quitting tobacco by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visiting www.QuitNowIndiana.com.”
In July of 2012, Indiana enacted its first statewide smoke free air law. The law covers nearly all public places in the state, including restaurants and other workplaces. In addition, there are 19 communities that have passed comprehensive smoke free air laws that cover workplaces, restaurants and bars. Visit  http://www.in.gov/isdh/tpc/2333.htm for more information on Indiana’s state and local smoke free air policies.
To learn more about lung cancer, and what you can do to lower your risk, refer to the Indiana Cancer Facts and Figures 2012 report on the Indiana Cancer Consortium (ICC) website at www.IndianaCancer.org.


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