Change your life in the Great American Smokeout - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Change your life in the Great American Smokeout

Dr. Gilbert Berdine (Source: KCBD Video) Dr. Gilbert Berdine (Source: KCBD Video)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Thursday is the Great American Smokeout. That's when the American Cancer Society asks the estimated 40 million smokers in this country to put down their cigarettes for just one day, hoping that will last a lifetime.

Dr. Gilbert Berdine, a pulmonary specialist, says putting out that last cigarette means you will see immediate and long term benefits.

"The immediate effect is if you have chronic bronchitis - cough and sputum production - that will generally resolve very quickly after you quit smoking," Berdine said.

He said the long term effects mean you reduce your risk of heart disease and lung cancer.

"The risks fall off dramatically once you quit smoking. So, if you quit smoking roughly five to 10 years later, and you have not developed lung cancer, your risk for lung cancer is no different from the normal population."

So, what's the best way to give up smoking?

Dr. Berdine says studies have shown that one way is by far the most effective.

"The best way is to throw the cigarettes away. Never buy another one and just quit cold turkey. A lot of people try to cut back gradually but it's not very effective. People can get down to that last half pack of cigarettes gradually. But they can never get past that last half pack. So, the best way is to just throw them away."

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world.

The ACS says if you can quit cold turkey on Thursday during the Great American Smokeout, you will change the rest of your life for the better.

Good luck!

For more help in getting through the day, visit the link below:

RELATED LINK: The Great American Smokeout

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