QuitWinLive – The Great American Smokeout

quit-smokingToday, the American Cancer Society (ACS) celebrates the Great American Smokeout, an annual event in the U.S. to encourage Americans to quit smoking. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2006 one in five U.S. adults smoked [1]. The Great American Smokeout challenges those people to smoke less or quit smoking for the day. The event also raises awareness of the many effective ways to quit for good.

The ACS has just wrapped up their first ever video contest on YouTube, where they asked people to create videos – one minute or less – to discourage smoking. You can check out the contest winners at the American Cancer Society.

You can also read more about the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco smoke in these articles here at Highlight HEALTH:

Accept the Great American Smokeout Challenge.
Quit for one day, or quit for good.


  1. Cigarette smoking among adults–United States, 2006. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007 Nov 9;56(44):1157-61.
    View abstract

Smoking Duration vs. Intensity and the Impact on Lung Cancer Risk

We’ve discussed smoking and health a number of times recently:

One of our readers asked a question I’m sure many have us have wondered about at one time or another:
Smoking tightrope
Which is worse for the development of lung cancer — smoking heavily over a short period of time or smoking fewer cigarettes over many years?

Here’s what the research has to say:

Irreversible Gene Expression Changes From Smoking

Recent research published in the online open journal BMC Genomics shows that smoking leads to changes in gene expression, some of which are reversible and some of which are permanent. Genes that are irreversibly changed may help to explain why former smokers, even after 10 years of not smoking, are still more susceptible to lung cancer than those who have never smoked.

Smoking Cessation Timeline: What Happens When You Quit

In the U.S., one-quarter of adults 18 years of age and older smoke cigarettes [1]. Smoking is truly a deadly habit. With about 4000 known chemicals in tobacco smoke, more than 50 of them are known to cause cancer. According to the World Health Organization, every six seconds someone in the world dies from tobacco use [2].

How’s this for bad odds: tobacco kills 50% of its regular users. One out of every two regular smokers will die from smoking [2].

cigarette-clock.jpgIn addition, an estimated 200,000 people die every year due to second-hand smoke exposure at work. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that second-hand smoke is responsible for approximately 3000 lung cancer deaths annually among non-smokers [2]. Additionally, new research has linked second-hand smoke exposure to psychological problems in children, including attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder.

The best time to quit smoking is RIGHT NOW. And while quitting is tough, you can start counting the benefits of not smoking in as little as 20 minutes. Here’s what happens to your body when you quit smoking [3-5]: