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WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – People all across the country who smoke are encouraged to quit and the American Cancer Society wants them to start now.
Thursday is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. The annual event focuses on raising awareness about the dangers of smoking and benefits of quitting.
More than 36 million Americans smoke cigarettes. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and death in the world.
For the Great American Smokeout, Trumbull Regional Medical Center is partnering with The Hope Center for Cancer Care and Eastern Ohio Pulmonary Consultants to help those who are thinking about quitting.
“There are 200,000 patients a year who are diagnosed with all stages of lung cancer. Of those, 150,000, approximately, have been dying from the disease,” said Dr. Kevin Kelley, radiation oncologist.
Kelley said he sees the long-term effects every day that smoking has on his patients, especially during treatment for those who end up with lung cancer.
“During treatment, these patients have more severe reactions, a tougher time getting through, and there is evidence that shows they don’t respond as well, unfortunately, to radiation and tumors are more difficult to get a handle on,” Kelley said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 160,000 people die each year from lung cancer caused by smoking. The Great American Smoke Out at Trumbull Regional Medical Center will focus on showing people what can happen if they don’t quit and the healing that takes place when they do quit.
“You notice improvements right away. In 20 minutes, your vital signs improve. In Twelve hours, your carbon monoxide level goes down to normal,” said Luana Andamasaris, radiation oncology nurse.
Kelley says the moment a person stops smoking, the potential for a better outcome goes up.
Thursday’s Smokeout event at Trumbull Memorial begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m. The event will be held in the lobby of the hospital located on Market Street. The event is free and open to the public.