Attn smokers: Great things happen when you quit

American Cancer Society logoSet your quit date now for the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout® Nov. 19

The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout® on Nov. 19 is the perfect time to quit smoking. No matter how old you are or how long you’ve smoked, quitting can help you live longer and be healthier. By quitting, you can add up to 10 years onto your life.

Here are eight great things that happen after you quit smoking:

  • 20 minutes after quitting: 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.
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
  • 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
  • 5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
  • 10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a person who continues smoking. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases, too.
  • 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death for men and women in Iowa. This year roughly 1,760 people will die in the state from the disease. If you’ve tried to stop smoking and always seem to pick it up again, you’re not alone. Having a set quit date allows you to create a plan for what to do when you actually quit – including how you’ll handle dealing with withdrawal and staying quit (maintenance).


Increase your chances of quitting successfully by talking to your health care provider or by connecting with the following resources:


  • Call Quitline Iowa at 1-800-QUITNOW to enroll in a free smoking cessation program. Contact the Webster County Health Department at 515-573-4107 for addition support.
  • Call UnityPoint Health- Trinity Regional Medical Center at 515-574-6258 to enroll in a seven-week smoking cessation program.
  • Contact your American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345, or visit

The Society is here to help all cancer patients, including lung cancer patients, get the help they need when they need it. Last year alone we assisted more than a million people who called us for help, providing free services like a place to stay while traveling for treatment, rides to treatment, emotional support, and much more.

Mark your calendar for the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout® on Nov. 19 – the day to make a plan to quit smoking for good. Visit to pick a quit day, prepare for quitting, and get support after you’ve quit. Download special tools designed to help support you on your journey and to fight cravings.


By quitting smoking, you can take one of the most important steps toward staying well and helping create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. We’re in your corner around the clock at 1-800-227-2345 or at

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