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Saving money and kicking the habit

SIOUX FALLS, SD – More than 50 years ago, an American Cancer Society-funded study showed the first link between smoking and lung cancer. Today, most people are aware that smoking is by far the leading risk factor for developing lung cancer. Smoking causes nine out of 10 cases of lung cancer, and the longer a person has been smoking and the more packs per day smoked, the greater the risk.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and on Nov. 20, the American Cancer Society will hold its annual “Great American Smoke Out” – a day for smokers everywhere to give up the habit.

The average pack of cigarettes costs between $4.50 and $5.00, according to MSN.com. Now consider a person with a 2-pack a day habit. Using the lower number, if that person were to quit smoking they would save more than $60 a week – or more than $3,200 a year! Think of what you could do with an extra $3,200 a year. … the house or car payments you could make, the family vacation you could take. Or you could save the money. If you put your $3,200 savings each year into an investment account earning 9 percent a year, in 30 years you would have nearly $500,000.

Forty-one percent of all American Indian men and 41 percent of all Native women smoke, according to www.quitsmokinghub.com. The highest rates of tobacco usage are among American Indians living in the Northern Plains. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths, and increasing the risk of 15 types of cancer.

There’s never a better time to quit. People who quit smoking – regardless of age – live longer than those who don’t quit. And smokers who quit before age 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half, compared with those who continue to smoke. It’s also a legacy you can leave your children – you can create a new tradition by quitting smoking this year and modeling good health habits, and let them follow in your footsteps.

Join millions of others and take the Great American Smoke-Out Challenge. Visit www.cancer.org/GreatAmericans for new interactive tools, tips and downloadable resources from the American Cancer Society. They include:

• A Quit Clock that allows users to pick a quit day within 30 days, then counts down to the selected day. Each morning, a new tip proven to help is offered to assist as the user prepares to stop smoking

• A Craving Stopper, which can be downloaded on the quit day to help beat cravings. The Craving Stopper provides encouragement and tips for 30 days to help the user stay cigarette free. Users can play a game that lasts for 2 minutes, the time it takes for a craving to subside.

For more information, contact the American Cancer Society at 1.800.227.2345 or www.cancer.org.

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