MHP Encourages Participation in the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 16

Mahaska Health Partnership

MAHASKA COUNTY— The Great American Smokeout is an annual event set for the Thursday before Thanksgiving, aimed to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and help motivate people to quit. Mahaska Health Partnership’s Cardiopulmonary Services Department encourages smokers to participate.

Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, according to the CDC’s 2014 Surgeon General’s Report, while more than 41,000 of these deaths come from exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoking causes about 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths and 90 percent of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“The Great American Smokeout creates excellent exposure for a subject that we should all care about,” MHP Cardiopulmonary Services Director Kim Mould said of the event that takes place every third Thursday in November. “It provides the chance for people to try to collectively quit smoking, and you couldn’t ask for a better support system than millions of people quitting on the same day.”

Cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance found naturally in tobacco. It travels quickly to the brain when it is inhaled and can cause a feeling of temporary relaxation and/or stress relief. Nicotine can also elevate your mood and your heart rate, but this feeling is only temporary.

“Shortly after you finish a cigarette, your body starts to show signs of withdrawal—that is, you start to crave another one to overcome these symptoms, which starts a cycle of dependency,” Mould explained.

“And when a person stops smoking the loss of nicotine changes the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, which can make them feel anxious, depressed and irritable.”

Mould also points to your bank account as reasoning to stop smoking.

“Buying packs of cigarettes can be considered a financial black hole,” she explained. “It’s putting money into a product that does not produce any beneficial results. There is no return on your investment.”

“Knowing the implications of smoking cigarettes is important, and we should support each other and hopefully use the Great American Smokeout as the first day to quit,” Mould said. “If smokers do decide to quit, a smoking cessation program or calling Iowa Quitline, a telephone service that offers free resources to help you quit smoking, can significantly increase their chances for success.”

The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 16. The Iowa Quitline can be reached at 1-800-7848-669.

Kim Mould is the Director of Cardiopulmonary Services at Mahaska Health Partnership. She is a registered respiratory therapist and has extensive years of experience in patient care and management. In her spare time, Mould enjoys exercise, trying new restaurants and participating in a variety of sports.

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Posted by on Nov 11 2017. Filed under Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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