Smokers in Utah urged to "butt out" for one day

The Great American Smokeout is today and Utahns who smoke are being asked to kick the habit for 24 hours. Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration.

<span>SALT LAKE CITY – Smokers in Utah are encouraged to quit the habit for 24 hours during the Great American Smokeout today. </span>

<span>Shane Ferraro, media relations manager at the American Cancer Society, says those who put down cigarettes can start to feel better within minutes.</span>

<span>”In 20 minutes, a smoker’s heart rate and their blood pressure will drop,” he points out. “In 12 hours, their carbon monoxide level is going to drop back to normal. In two weeks’ time, their circulation is going to improve. Their lung function increases.”</span>

<span>Ferraro says research shows nearly 70 percent of smokers want to quit, and about half of them try to stop each year.</span>

<span>The American Cancer Society reports that tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. </span>

<span>Despite the grim statistics, an estimated 42 million Americans, about one in five adults, still smoke cigarettes. </span>

<span>Ferraro says friends and family members can provide vital support to those trying to kick the habit.</span>

<span>”It’s important to note that, trying to quit – you’re not alone,” he stresses. “Your family and friends can kind of hold you accountable. They can help distract you when you’re having your cravings. The American Cancer Society is there for smokers.”</span>

<span>Smokers can also get more information and support through the Utah Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669).</span>

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