Great American Smokeout is Thursday

It can be hard to remember a time when smoking was accepted nearly everywhere – in homes, businesses, and restaurants. Since the 1950s, Society funded-research has helped scientists understand the role of tobacco in cancer. In 1952, our landmark Hammond-Horn study confirmed that a smoker was at nine times the risk for lung cancer than a nonsmoker.

Every year the Great American Smokeout, combined with tobacco cessation hotlines and support offered by the Society, helps thousands of smokers quit. If you or someone you love is ready to quit tobacco, we can help increase your chances. Through our nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN volunteers have helped to raise state cigarette taxes – a strategy directly linked to a drop in youth smoking – and to pass smoke-free policies for workplaces, restaurants, bars and other public spaces.

“Although the numbers show that we have seen a decline in smokers over the decades, as a physician, I see on a regular basis the devastating effects smoking can cause,” said Dr. Jim Meyer, a UnityPoint Clinic pulmonogist. “Informing patients, because of their smoking, they now have COPD or cancer is one of the more difficult parts of my job. Disease associated with smoking not only affects the smoker but also their loved ones. However, I always tell my patients there is hope. By quitting smoking they can dramatically improve their quality of life and in some cases stop their disease from progressing further. Studies have shown that even a 50-year-old can cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half, compared to those who continue to smoke.”

Lung cancer is the No. 1 cause of death from cancer in the United States. Yet more than 80 percent of lung cancers have a chance to be cured if detected early. Unfortunately, most cancers aren’t discovered until they reach an advanced stage, when they cause symptoms that lead to diagnosis. If you are a long-term, heavy smoker or former smoker aged 50 or older, the lung cancer screening may be for you. A lung cancer screening is similar to a mammogram; the screening detects potential early cancers. It doesn’t hurt and takes only about 30 seconds. You just lie on a table and hold your breath while a low-dose screening CT (computerized tomography) scan produces detailed images of your lungs. The cost of a lung cancer screening at Trinity Regional Medical Center is $95.

The Lung Cancer Screening is Trinity’s newest screening tool that helps doctors detect lung cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage. This fast, painless screening uses a low-dose CT to look inside your chest. It is the only test that has been proven to detect early lung cancer and improve survival.

Who should get a Lung Cancer Screening?

Current and former smokers aged 50 and up are at greatest risk for developing lung cancer. All that’s needed is a doctor’s referral. For more information call your doctor or Trinity Radiology at 574-6528.

Increase your chances of quitting successfully by talking to your health care provider or connecting with Quitline Iowa about nicotine replacement therapy and other medicines to help with withdrawal. All services provided by the Quitline are free to Iowans. To get started enroll online or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW – 1 (800) 784-8669.

By quitting smoking, you can take one of the most important steps toward staying well and helping create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

The American Cancer Society is in your corner around the clock at (800) 227-2345 or at

Dr. James Meyer joined the Unity-Point Clinic (formally Trimark Physicians Group) Pulmonary team in 2000.

He currently is the medical director of the Respiratory Care and Sleep Disorders unit at Trinity Regional Medical Center.

Liddy Hora is a hospital representative for the American Cancer Society.

For more information contact Liddy at 576-7975 or by email at