10% of cancer survivors still smoke


KIMT News 3 – It’s not an easy thing to quit smoking, even if you’ve faced cancer because of it.

A new study, published by the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology shows that 9.3 percent of smokers who have had cancer in the past, are still smoking.

The study goes on to suggest that only one-third of smokers quit, once they were diagnosed with cancer.

One local tobacco specialist says, she’s not surprised to hear the numbers related to nicotine.

“That’s what nicotine does to us. It creates a physiological need to many people and their brains. It does not effect everybody who uses it the same way, but it is very hard to break from, and it is very hard to resist,” said Tobacco Program Coordinator, Penny McCaslin with the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health.

Those who were diagnosed tended to smoke more frequently then your average smoker. Some inhaled an average of 15 cigarettes a day.

Smoking has been linked to several types of cancers including lung, colon and throat cancer.

In the study, nearly half of the cancer survivors said they were planning on quitting, or taking the steps necessary to do so.

Others said they were either unsure, or not going to quit at all.

According to the US Surgeon General’s office, you can see changes within minutes of quitting “cold-turkey”.

20 minutes after quitting, your blood pressure drops to a level close to that before the last cigarette.

12 hours after quitting, carbon monoxide levels in your blood drops to normal.

Finally, one to nine months after quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decrease dramatically.

For more information, the Cerro Gordo Department of Public Health will be holding a Freshstart Session for those interested in quitting.

The session days are November 10, 13, 17 and 20, from 10-11 a.m at Mohawk Square.

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