FORT LEE, Va. (Nov. 9, 2017) -- Grab a quit buddy or two and commit to quitting tobacco on Nov. 16.
According to the U.S. Army Public Health Center, “Tobacco use in the Army is a high-profile issue and has a direct impact upon a person's ability to accomplish their mission, whether that be as a military member, DOD Civilian, Army employee, family member, or retiree. The short-term impacts of tobacco use on readiness include increased numbers of sick call visits and increased incidence of cold weather and training injuries.”
In addition, there are the well-known, long-term health hazards of tobacco use to include reduced lung capacity, reduced fine motor coordination, slower wound healing and greatly decreased stamina. Tobacco use also is a major cause of heart disease, stroke, diseases of the blood vessels, and cancers of the lung, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder and cervix.
Tobacco affects readiness as well as health. Recognizing the addictiveness of tobacco, Kenner Health Promotion’s aim is to help all to quit tobacco by offering a variety of programs that suit each individual’s needs. Tobacco-Free Living benefits the military community as a whole because tobacco-free individuals are stronger, healthier and better able to perform their mission and responsibilities. Being tobacco-free also benefits each person by giving them an opportunity to maintain a healthier lifestyle and to decrease the health risks associated with tobacco use. Tobacco-Free Living initiatives implemented across the enterprise support a tobacco-free community and promote the health and personal readiness of military personnel, family members, retirees, employees, and patients/patrons on Medical Command campuses.
Whether you have struggled through multiple quit attempts or just decided it’s time to make it happen, the Great American Smokeout is the perfect day to take a step toward a healthier, tobacco-free life. If a person can get through one day tobacco free, he or she will quickly improve their health, save money and make their friends and family proud. If people can get through one day, they’ll get through two days, then three days, and so on. It will be tough, but they will be tougher.
Quit for you and all who care about you! How your body recovers after quitting:
• 20 minutes: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop
• 12 hours: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal
• 2 weeks-3 months: Your circulation improves, and your lung function increases
• 1-9 months: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection
• 1 year: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who continues to smoke. Your heat attack risk drops drastically
• 5 years: The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years
• 10 years: The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases
• 15 years: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker
Join community members for tobacco cessation Nov. 16 and consider quitting for life, or call KAHC Promotion at (804) 734-9304 for information on group classes and one on one consultation.