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Time to kick the habit

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 7:05 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2020 at 7:09 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

Established in 1976, the Great American Smokeout is held the third Thursday in November - a day smokers across the United States join together to quit. In this week’s Medical Monday, Kathy McCarty has more why kicking the habit is so important.

It’s a fact. Smoking is hazardous to your health. Nurse Practitioner Jaymie St. Peter says smoking leads to disease, disabilities, it harms nearly all organ systems of the body, and is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

“Studies show that nearly one in five of all deaths are caused by or related to smoking. Smokers are more likely to develop heart disease, they can develop lung disease, cancers, they can even have a stroke,” says Jaymie St. Peter, a Registered Nurse with Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital.

Smoking also increases the risk for coronary artery disease by two to four times over a nonsmoker. Even light smokers are at higher risk.

St. Peter says, “Things that you may see would be increased blood pressure, increased heart rate. You may find that you have more agitation. It can increase your risk for clots, which leads to stroke or heart attacks.”

Smoking can cause lifelong lung damage.

“Lead to things like COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis. And an interesting fact that I saw on the CDC website was that 90 percent of all deaths from lung cancer are caused from smoking,” she says.

Smoking affects more than the smoker; it affects families, employers, and health care costs.

“Within minutes of quitting smoking, research shows that your heart rate drops to a more calm level, within 24 hours nicotine is out of your system completely, and within several days, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood drop to that of a nonsmoker,” says St. Peter.

St. Peter says there are many services available to help a person quit, including hotlines, aps, or you can work with your doctor. For more information, visit wagmtv.com. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

For more information on ways to quit smoking, visit the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout website: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html.

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