November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Indiana, killing approximately 4,000 Hoosiers each year. Each year approximately 120 people in Porter County are diagnosed with lung cancer.
Over 3,800 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in Indiana. Smoking is the greatest risk factor for this disease – accounting for nearly 87 percent of all lung cancer deaths. Today in Indiana 24 percent (approximately one million) of adults continue to smoke cigarettes.
“The effects of quitting smoking begin immediately,” said Susan Gleason, County Coordinator, Tobacco Education & Prevention Coalition for Porter County (TEPC). “In fact, within 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse return to normal levels. Within 72 hours, the chance of a heart attack drops and sense of smell and taste begin to return. Within three months, lung capacity increases. Within one year, risk of heart attack is cut in half. And within five years, heart disease rate drops to that of a non-smoker.”
November 21st is the Great American Smokeout. TEPC is encouraging residents of Porter County to make a pledge to be tobacco free or to encourage a loved one to be tobacco free.
For help with quitting tobacco use, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.QuitNowIndiana.com.