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This is the Time to Quit Smoking and Vaping | Piedmont Healthcare

Fayetteville, Ga. (November 19, 2019) - Less people smoke cigarettes now than they did over 50 years ago (42 percent in 1965 to 14 percent in 2017, according to the American Cancer Society) but that still means that 34 million Americans are smoking. Arvind Ponnambalam, M.D., a pulmonologist at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, urges all smokers to quit smoking and vaping.

“Quitting smoking produces many benefits, regardless of how long you’ve been a smoker,” said Dr. Ponnambalam. “Not only will your lung function and circulation improve within the first few weeks, your risk of heart attack is reduced and your risk of heart disease is half of that of a smoker after a year.”

Dr. Ponnambalam has seen many people adopt vaping as a replacement for smoking and he urges people to stop using those products as well.

“There is a lot in the news about deaths associated with vaping and I believe, now more than ever, people should generally avoid all forms of vaping at this time. There are safer ways to quit,” said Dr. Ponnambalam. “One of the main issues with vaping is that no one knows what is in the vaping liquids or what exactly is causing the acute lung injuries and deaths.”

The Great American Smokeout takes place on the third Thursday of every November. This year, on Thursday, November 21, Dr. Ponnambalam hopes that local residents will join millions of Americans and quit smoking or vaping. Quitting smoking, even for one day, is important, but people who would like to quit smoking long-term often need the support of family and friends, as well as support groups and, sometimes, prescriptions.

“Your physician or a pulmonologist can give you good advice on how to successfully quit smoking,” said Dr. Ponnambalam. “Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are typically gone within two weeks and by then you will already to start to experience the health benefits. Success rates are also better if you quit with another person, like a friend or a loved one.”

Quitting smoking doesn’t just benefit you, but also everyone around you. Smoke exposure causes many serious health problems – such as heart disease, stroke and lung cancer – in nonsmoking adults. In children, secondhand smoke can cause sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections and ear infections, and more frequent and severe asthma attacks.

There is a wealth of information on-line about how to quit smoking successfully and Piedmont hospitals periodically offer smoking cessation classes.

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