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Lung Cancer Awareness

Onslow County has a 25% higher rate of lung cancer than the NC average.

Onslow County has one of the highest rates of lung cancer in the state, probably because we have one of the highest rates of smoking. (People who smoke are 15-30 times ore likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than non-smokers.) Those are sicknesses and deaths we can prevent. For great tools and resources to help you or your loved one become smoke-free, click here. To join the conversation on Facebook, click here.

The good news? There is a newer, highly effective lung cancer screening: the low-dose CT Screening, available here at Onslow Memorial. And early detection can decrease lung cancer mortality by 14-20% among high risk populations. If you have ever smoked you should ask your doctor if you are a candidate to get screened. For more information click here.

Some startling statistics:

  • Onslow County has one of the highest rates of lung cancer deaths per year in N.C.
  • Smoking causes 80-85% of lung cancers in the U.S.
  • On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers
  • More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking
  • Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the U.S.

And it doesn't just include adults...

  • In 2011, more than 15% of Onslow County high school students smoked
  • 90% of smokers began before the age 19
  • About 30% of teen smokers will continue smoking and die early from a smoking-related disease
  • Teen smokers are more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety disorders and depression
  • Approximately 1.5 million packs of cigarettes are purchased for minors annually
  • Each day, more than 3,200 people younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette
  • Nearly 12 of every 100 high school students (11.7%) reported in 2017 that they used electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days—an increase from 1.5% in 2011
  • Many teens may be addicted to vaping without realizing it: https://consumer.healthday.com/mental-health-information-25/addiction-news-6/many-young-juul-users-may-not-know-they-re-addicted-738815.html​

According to the American Heart Association and the U.S. surgeon general, this is how your body starts to recover when you go smoke-free:

  • After 15 years your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s.
  • After 10 years: You are half as likely to die from lung cancer. Your risk of larynx or pancreatic cancer decreases.
  • After 5 years: Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Your risk of cervical cancer and stroke return to normal.
  • One year after quitting smoking, a person’s excess risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by 50 percent.
  • After one to nine months of smoke-free living: clear and deeper breathing gradually returns as coughing and shortness of breath diminishes; you regain the ability to cough productively instead of hacking, which cleans your lungs and reduce your risk of infection.
  • After two weeks to three months of smoke-free living: your circulation and lung function begin to improve.
  • After 12 hours of smoke-free living: the carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal.
  • In your first 20 minutes after quitting: your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the cigarette-induced spike.

There are many reasons to go smoke-free. Like wanting to spend more time with your family and loved ones. Don’t let cigarettes rob you of the energy or even years to spend with the people most important to you. Here are some resources to help you take action in becoming smoke-free:

Free cessation services for any North Carolina resident who needs help quitting tobacco use: www.quitlinenc.com

Freedom From Smoking® - a group clinic that includes eight sessions and a step-by-step plan for quitting smoking, encouraging participants to work on the process and problems of quitting smoking both individually and as part of a group: lung.org/stop-smoking/how-to-quit/freedom-from-smoking/

Tips for parents to help keep kids from smoking and encouraging them to quit if they have already started: lung.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/preventing-smoking/for-parents.html

CDC overview of the health effects of cigarette smoking: www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm

Resource with a detailed, customizable quit plan and additional information: www.smokefree.gov

Additional Educational Resources: