WPS Health Insurance Blog

The Great American Smokeout gives you a chance to kick the habit

Posted by Marie Puissant

Nov 21, 2013 9:00:00 AM

Crush out smokingSmoking is bad. Of course you’ve heard that, right before the really awful television commercials about the people who’ve smoked and suffered the terrible consequences. Or if you’re like me, you change the channel and check back when it’s over.

In case you’ve missed out on those commercials, here’s the main message: Smoking is bad. It can cause really terrible consequences to your health. Got it? Good!

Now, I understand that being told to quit or “horrible things will happen to your health” may not be the strongest motivator. It’s hard! Smoking is an addiction, after all.

What if I said that if you quit smoking:

  • 12 hours later, the carbon monoxide levels in your body drop to normal.
  • 2 weeks-3 months later, your circulation improves and lung function increases.
  • 1-9 months later, 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.
  • 5 years later, risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are 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 later, 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 later, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s.

It might be hard to think of the benefits 15 years out. So how about just 24 hours?

Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, The Great American Smokeout is a 24-hour event held the third Thursday in November…TODAY!

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S. However, about 43.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — nearly 1 in every 5 adults. As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the U.S., and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.

The Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to quit, talk about quitting, plan to quit or find support for quitting, even if just for one day. The day is also to celebrate those who have successfully quit and their supporters.

Did you know that the WPS Madison campus is smoke-free? It is! We proudly declared ourselves a smoke-free campus this past summer. Our Omaha, NE campus has been smoke-free for two years!

Do you know why we went smoke-free? As a health insurance company, WPS has an obligation to practice what we preach. We encourage the people we insure to lead healthy lifestyles and take care of themselves. It is beneficial for everyone to eat properly, exercise, manage stress, and avoid harmful habits, including smoking.

Because guess what? If everyone stops smoking, we’ll all be healthier … and they’ll have to stop playing those depressing television commercials. Support the Great American Smokeout today!

Topics: Wellness