WESTON — Giving up a cigarette habit is one of the most difficult hurdles for a smoker. That is why Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital (SJMH) is encouraging the public to think about kicking the habit during the week of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on November 19.
For more than 40 years, the Great American Smokeout has been held the third Thursday of November. The event is an opportunity for people who smoke to commit to a healthy, smoke-free life. The day provides an opportunity for individuals to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and begin a smoking cessation plan on that day.
There are a number of negative consequences for smokers including the heavy financial cost, as well as the cost to one’s health. Smoking affects West Virginians with an estimated 26% of the population designated as smokers – the highest in the country. The habit continues to be the number one risk factor for lung cancer and has been linked to 80-90% of all diagnosed cases.
SJMH encourages people to quit tobacco because lung cancer is a major health concern for the state. In fact, West Virginia has:
If people would have early testing, late stage diagnosis could be eventually be eliminated. Mon Health System encourages smokers/ex-smokers to learn more about a low dose CT screening for diagnosing the disease. In order to qualify for these screenings, patients must meet the following criteria: be a current or former smoker aged 55 to 77 years old, have a history of smoking 30 or more packs per year, and are either a current smoker or who has quit within the past 15 years.
Patients require a physician referral to receive the testing and should consult with their primary care provider to see if the screening is appropriate for them. To find a primary care provider near you, visit monhealth.com/primarycare and make an appointment today.