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Great American Smokeout

November 20, 2008

The Great American Smokeout is always the third Thursday of every November. If you're a smoker, consider quitting or at least reducing how much you smoke this month with thousands of other people across America.

Things to look forward to:

Once you finish your last cigarette, your recovery is almost immediate.

20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.

2 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 nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.

10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases.

15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's.

Find out how HAP can help you quit smoking for good.

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