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November 16, 2011

Augusta, GA  - More than 46 million people across America smoke every day, but local doctors are urging smokers to focus on one day that could be the beginning of the rest of their lives.

For 36 years the American Cancer Society has asked smokers to put down their cigarettes during The Great American Smokeout on November 17th.  If smokers challenge themselves to not smoke for this 24 hour period, it could lead to a lifetime of not smoking with potentially lifesaving results.  With an estimated 160,000 people diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011, the impact of this day has the potential to be extremely significant.

“We are seeing too many cases of lung cancer that could have been prevented if patients would quit using tobacco,” says Dr. Carmel Joseph, pulmonologist at Doctors Hospital.  “Sometimes I don’t think people realize that it’s not just those who smoke who are susceptible to being diagnosed with lung cancer, but also those who are exposed to second hand smoke.”

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death across the United States.  The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity for people to stop and think about the dangers which surround tobacco use.  It’s estimated that more than 70% of adults say they want to quit, however only 5% - 10% are successful in doing so.

“There is no excuse to not put down the cigar or cigarette.  It will undoubtedly add years to your life.  It’s not easy, but if you start small and ask for help then the path to quitting will be much easier,” says Dr. Joseph.

Doctors Hospital continues to be a tobacco-free campus, helping to create a safe and healthful workplace.

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