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November 18th is the Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society

Burned cigarette

What is the Great American Smokeout®?

This year, the American Cancer Society hosts the Great American Smokeout on November 18th. The event challenges smokers to give up cigarettes for 24 hours.

The American Cancer Society offers resources, support, and services to help those fighting cancer. They officially started the Great American Smokeout nationwide in 1977. Now, thousands of smokers across the US join together to partake every year.

What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking for 24 Hours?

Health news: Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your body, even if you're older or you've been smoking for many years.

After 20 minutes...

Just 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your body begins to recover. Your pulse and blood pressure start to return to normal, and the circulation in your hands and feet improves, warming them up to their usual temperature.

After 8 hours...

Carbon monoxide is a chemical in cigarettes that stifles oxygen in the blood, stopping your muscles, brain, and other organs from getting as much as they need. After eight hours, you have half the amount of nicotine and carbon monoxide in your blood. Oxygen levels are getting back to normal.

You might be starting to crave cigarettes, have a headache, feel irritable, or have other withdrawal symptoms. Distraction techniques help in this phase especially.

After 12 hours...

Your carbon monoxide level is now fully back to normal, so your heart no longer has to pump so hard to get enough oxygen around your body.

After 24 hours...

Tobacco smoke constricts blood vessels in your body. But after 24 hours, this starts to cease. Your blood pressure then lowers, pulse rate reduces, and your body temperature returns to normal. In one day, you've just lowered your chance of having a heart attack.

Beyond 24 hours...

A few of the long-term benefits of stopping smoking are:

How to Quit Smoking Today

It's not easy to quit smoking when your mind and body are wired to want another cigarette. Thankfully, there are more options than ever to help on your journey to a smoke-free future, like:

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