Free lung function screenings during nationwide ‘quit smoking’ initiative

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Genesis in Davenport will be offering free lung function screenings in conjunction with a nationwide initiative to quit smoking.

Thursday, November 21, 2013 is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout and free pulmonary function screenings will be offered at Genesis Medical Center. The screenings and information about quitting will be available to Pavilion I, West Central Park in Davenport from 9 – 11:30 a.m.

Patients will be asked to breathe into a mouthpiece that measures breathing function; according to Wendy Ballou RN, Cancer Nurse Navigator, the test will provide patients with an important baseline of information to compare future tests with.

“The test is not only for smokers, but it is especially important for smokers or former smokers to have a baseline like this,” Ballou said. “This type of test is a way to determine whether there is an abnormal breathing function.

Ballou said a lot of times cigarette smokers will lose lung function and cigarette smoking is an “important risk factor in developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said that smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the country. Quitting can help lower your risk of lung cancer, including lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“If you can quit for just one day, you may find you can quit for one week, one month, one year, and before you know it, not smoking is your new healthy habit,” said Dr. LaMar.

According to the public health department, 8.6 million people live with serious illnesses caused by smoking, and the habit is responsible for nearly 1-in-3 cancer deaths and 1-in-5 deaths of all causes.

The department noted that significant changes occur in a person’s body after they stop smoking —

  • Within 20 minutes – blood pressure and pulse rates drop to normal and body temperature in hands and feet increase.
  • Within nine hours – carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal and oxygen level increases to normal
  • After one day – the chance of a heart attack decreases

For people looking to quit smoking the health department has established the Illinois Tobacco Quitline. Counselors are available for advice, addiction assessment, quit plans, craving support, and follow up. You can call at 1-866-QUIT-YES       from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. seven days per week, or visit the website for help.