American Cancer Society challenges smokers to stop for one day, hopefully longer

A day with no cigarettes can decrease your risk for a heart attack in just 12 hours.

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – People around the country were encouraged to put down their cigarettes Thursday for the American Cancer Society’s 40th Great American Smokeout.

Michele Hart, a pulmonary nurse clinician from Baystate Medical Center told 22News how much of a difference one day with no cigarettes can make.

“Blood pressure returns to normal, and within 12 to 24 hours your risk of heart attack decreases,” Hart said. “So, you know, a 24-hour period can have a huge impact on your health and hopefully it’s a motivation to continue that quitting process.”

The Great American Smokeout was created by the American Cancer Society to motivate smokers to quit by challenging them to just one day.

According to the American Cancer Society, smoking has decreased among adults in the U.S. from about 42 percent in 1965 to just 18 percent in 2012. The society said there is a new trend, however, that is on the rise among young adults. E-cigarettes and vaping is becoming more popular among young adults.

Hart told 22News this is alternate form of tobacco use is still dangerous because they are finding it is still leading to addiction and respiratory issues.

Click Here to learn more about the Great American Smokeout.

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