Warmer weather is on upon us, and that means some of us may try something new this summer, like rock climbing or mountain biking. For the 1.7 million people who still smoke in Pennsylvania, it’s also a good time of the year to try a new smokefree start. With the promise of outdoor activities, there is ample opportunity to modify or change behaviors that lead to smoking addiction and ways to see how much better you can feel when you are completely smokefree.
On May 31 — World No Tobacco Day — set a quit date, and make a plan to quit smoking, and then take spring and summer to a whole new level and get rid of tobacco in your life. Toss out the ashtrays and lighters, and wash all bedding, curtains, couch coverings and clothes. Make sure to vacuum your carpets — including those in your car. Fabrics can hold smoke smells long after smoke has left your home.
Celebrate the season with a smokefree walk around the park, a game of hoops or just sitting outside breathing the fresh, spring air. Twenty minutes after quitting smoking, your heart rate drops to normal. Within two weeks to three months, lung function begins to improve, and at one to nine months coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
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For more information on proven quit smoking support, visit Lung.org/ffs or call the American Lung Association’s free Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.
Deborah P. Brown
American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic