Monroe, Ga. – Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women and 90 percent of all lung cancer cases stem from smoking tobacco. Cindy Laing, D.O., a family medicine physician with Piedmont Physicians Monroe Family Practice, urges all smokers to quit smoking and vaping and believes that The American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout, which takes place Thursday, Nov. 18, is a great place to begin the journey of being smoke free.
The Great American Smokeout takes place on the third Thursday of every November. This year, on Thursday, November 18 Dr. Laing hopes that local residents will join millions of Americans and quit smoking or vaping. Quitting smoking, even for one day, is important, but people who would like to quit smoking long-term often need the support of family and friends, as well as support groups and, sometimes, prescriptions.
Quitting smoking doesn’t just benefit you, but also everyone around you. Smoke exposure causes many serious health problems – such as heart disease, stroke and lung cancer – in nonsmoking adults. In children, secondhand smoke can cause sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections and ear infections, and more frequent and severe asthma attacks.
Vaping is on the rise and doctors and researchers are still learning about its long-term effects. The majority of e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can harm adolescent brain development, is toxic to fetuses, and can cause lung cancer. Another potential danger from vaping is E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product-Use Associated Lung Injury (EVALI), which can be fatal. In one study, lung tissue evaluated from EVALI-related deaths showed damage similar to patients exposed to chemical fumes from a toxic spill.
“Quitting smoking produces many benefits, regardless of how long you’ve been a smoker,” said Dr. Laing. “Not only will your lung function and circulation improve within the first few weeks, your risk of heart attack is reduced and your risk of heart disease is half of that of a smoker after a year.”
For more information on resources to quit smoking, visit https://www.piedmont.org/patients-visitors/stop-smoking.