Throwback Thursday – the Great American Smokeout

Usually I dedicate my Throwback Thursdays to joyous or quirky memories of the past. Today, not so much.

Each year on the third Thursday in November, the American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout.

This is an annual social engineering event to encourage Americans to stop tobacco smoking. The Great American Smokeout challenges smokers to quit cigarettes for 24 hours with the hopes that this decision will continue forever.

There are benefits to 1 day without cigarettes. After just 20 minutes without a cigarette, the heart rate drops. So does the blood pressure. Twelve hours later, the body will cleanse the carbon monoxide from the last cigarette from the body.

That’s a great start. If you make it past 1 day, your risk of heart attack begins to decrease along with heart disease and stroke. After just 1 day – keep it up.

After 2 days, things start tasting and smelling better. That’s because your nerves are healing from the smoke damage.

Day 3 may be tough. The nicotine is leaving your body and symptoms of withdrawal may occur. But you can do it.

By 1 month, you may notice you can breathe better. The coughing is less. Your lungs may be clearer.

Do you want to find out more? Visit the American Cancer Society to learn more.

My father smoked for most of his life. He was addicted to nicotine and every time he tried to stop, he failed. Smoking killed him when he was in his early fifties. My mother smoked when she was young but was able to kick the habit. She is with us still today. Cigarette smoking takes a terrible toll on our society.

I have many happy memories of my father and many photos that I have shared on this blog. So far I have only found one photo with a cigarette in his hand, though in real life it was omni present. Don’t lose someone you love from an addition to nicotine. If you smoke, stop today. If you have a loved one who smokes, ask them to quit. Memories are wonderful, but a presence in your life is even better. Happy Great American Smokeout on this Throwback Thursday.

As always you can find more at and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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