Great American Smokeout urges smokers to quit

Posted Nov. 12, 2012, at 7:13 p.m.

The American Cancer Society is encouraging smokers to kick the habit on Nov. 15 as part of the organization’s Great American Smokeout.

Now in its 37th year, the smokeout is an opportunity for smokers to quit on that day or to make a plan to quit.

An estimated 1 billion people worldwide will die during the 21st century because of tobacco use, according to The Tobacco Atlas, published by the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation.

“Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States,” Cheryl Tucker, vice president of health initiatives for the American Cancer Society, said in a press release. “Quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do for your health and the Great American Smokeout is a great way to start.”

Tobacco use accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths and 80 percent of lung cancer deaths. In the U.S., tobacco use is responsible for nearly one in five deaths, or about 443,000 premature deaths each year.

Smokers who quit, regardless of age, live longer than people who continue to smoke. In just 20 minutes after quitting smoking, heart rate and blood pressure drop. In about one to nine months after quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

The American Cancer Society held its first Great American Smokeout in 1976.

Scarborough fitness center hosts run to benefit food pantry

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Zone 3 Fitness in Scarborough celebrated World Run Day on Monday by collecting donations for the Scarborough Food Pantry.

Members of Zone 3 Fitness, a fitness and personal training center, gathered for a run around Back Cove in Portland and set up boxes for nonperishable food items and donations, according to a press release.

World Run Day was founded to celebrate and promote the health benefits of running while also encouraging runners to donate to their favorite charity.

“We thought World Run Day was a great opportunity to bring together runners of all levels, including new runners, for a fun morning run and to do something meaningful for our community,” said Nicole Avery, owner of Zone 3 Fitness.

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