The Great American Smokeout

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

14 November, 2012

Smokers can contact the Nevada Tobacco Users’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT NOW for free assistance to help them quit smoking. They can speak with a professional, licensed counselor for confidential assistance. Smokers can also visit the health district’s Get Healthy Clark County website, www.GetHealthyClarkCounty.org to find tips to help them quit smoking a as well as additional resources.

Twenty minutes after squashing out a final cigarette, a former smoker reaps the benefits of quitting when the heart rate drops to a normal level. In three months, the risk of a heart attack drops; in one year, the added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s; in five to 15 years, the risk of a stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker; and 15 years after quitting, the risk of dying from lung cancer or bladder cancer is reduced to half of smoker’s risk and the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker’s.

In Clark County, nearly eight of 10 residents are non-smokers. Each year, approximately 2,500 Nevadans under age 18 become daily smokers. About 80 percent of adult smokers became regular smokers before the age of 18. Healthcare costs are about $565 million for smoking-related illnesses and 3,300 Nevadans die from smoking-related illnesses each year. The average smoker will spend approximately $1,000 annually on cigarettes.

The most effective way to quit smoking is to make a plan and get assistance to develop a strategy. Quitting tips include identifying triggers and habits, such as an ‘after dinner’ cigarette, driving, consuming alcohol or coffee.

The American Cancer Society offers several tips to assist:

  • Spend time in places where smoking is prohibited, especially the first few days after quitting
  • Drink large quantities of water and fruit juice
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, and other beverages associated with smoking
  • Eat several small meals to maintain blood sugar levels, avoid sugary or spicy foods that trigger a desire for cigarettes
  • Take deep rhythmic breaths to relax
  • Join a support group

Updated information about the Southern Nevada Health District can be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, on YouTube www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict or Twitter www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo The health district is now available in Spanish on Twitter www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the health district on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404.

Visit the Media Contacts webpage for media related inquiries.

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Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD.  Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.