Today is the Great American Smokeout.  Back in 1970 in Randolph, Massachusetts, Arthur P. Mullaney encouraged people to quit smoking for just a day.  The money they would have spent on buying cigarettes would be donated to a scholarship fund.  The idea grew over the years until November 18, 1976 when the American Cancer Society in California had the first Smokeout.
I've never been a smoker but I can imagine that trying to stop smoking is as difficult as trying to lose weight.  A day-to-day challenge.  Unlike losing weight, stopping smoking produces almost immediate changes to your body.  According to the American Cancer Society, twenty minutes after stopping smoking, heart rate and blood pressure drop.  Twelve hours later, carbon monoxide blood levels return to normal.  Two weeks to three months after your last cigarette, circulation and lung function improves. One year after stopping smoking, your risk of developing heart disease is half that of a smoker and heart attack risk drops a great deal.  Life expectancy for non-smokers is at least ten years longer than smokers.  Want instant gratification?  Think of the money you'll save by not buying cigarettes!  Your sense of smell heightens.  Food tastes better and even your clothes and breath smell better.  In my opinion, all good reasons to stop smoking.  If you decide to crush that pack of cigarettes or throw out that box of cigars, I applaud you and will be right here cheering for you! Visit the American Cancer Society website for helpful hints for your "stop smoking" journey.

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