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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the month we celebrate the Great American Smokeout. On Nov. 19, many Americans will participate in the Great American Smokeout which is a day that honors people’s efforts to stop smoking - for a day, for weeks, forever. Are you ready?
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death among men and women in America. In recent years, more people have died from lung cancer than from breast, prostate and colon cancer combined! Despite major advances in treatment, lung cancer claims the lives of more than 163,000 Americans each year. Research shows up to 90% of all lung cancers have been linked to smoking.
What can you do to protect your health?
The healthiest action a person can take to improve their lung and overall health – is to stop smoking. If you don’t smoke – don’t start. If you do smoke, find help and quit. Talk to your children and family about the harms of smoking and set a good example. Advocate and support “Clean Air” efforts in your community, schools and workplaces. Make your home and car a smoke free zone!
This year, rather than just talking about the health burdens associated with smoking and the terrible consequences, take action to prevent them. Call the Washington County Health Department (859-336-3989) or the Kentucky Cancer program (270-360-0901) for help in quitting smoking. Join the Washington County Heartland Youth Coalition (859-336-5130) to become an involved citizen for better health. For immediate help in stopping smoking: call 1-800-QUIT NOW or go to www.BecomeAnEx.org to get additional help.
Rodney Mattingly is the health educator for the Washington County Health Department.