Risk of lung cancer death drops by half 10 years after quitting smoking

Published 12:07 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Over the last five years incidences of lung cancer have decreased by seven percent in the state of Mississippi, according to data from the America Lung Association. This positive trend is supported by data from the World Health Organization showing that people who quit smoking are 50 percent less likely to develop lung cancer 10 years later. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report as of 2018, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Unfortunately for Mississippi, even with incidence trending in the right direction, lung cancer rates are higher than the national average.

“Quitting smoking, at any point in time, provides new health benefits,” said LuJulius Fleming, director of the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Lafayette County. “You lower your risk of cancer, add years to your, life and can breathe more easily.”

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The Office of  Tobacco Control at the Mississippi State Department of Health is prepared to help anyone seeking support to quit smoking. Participants in the “Ready. Set. Quit.” program receive a free welcome kit and access to the program website where they follow an action plan and track progress. Additionally, Tobacco Control offers online, phone and text counseling.

Shirlee McNeil of Winona quit smoking after calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. “It takes several tries to get it right. I had to ask for help, that’s why I called the hotline. I found the number on Facebook.”

 When asked what kept her motivated, Shirlee said, “I’m a pretty stubborn person and I didn’t want to give up on myself. Even though I failed a lot, I just kept trying. Now I’ve been smoke free for three years.”

For information about the dangers of cigarettes, visit www.healthyms.com/tobacco. For help with quitting visit www.quitlinems.com, or call the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.