Central Kentucky Cancer Program and Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation encourage individuals who smoke to kick their habit Thursday during this year's Great American Smokeout.
The foundation, in conjunction with Boyle County Health Department, is distributing pencils to all elementary students in the Danville and Boyle County schools in observance of the Great American Smokeout.
Individuals also may participate in smoking cessation programs in their community to help them quit smoking. The next smoking cessation class in Boyle County is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at the health department. Classes will meet weekly for 13 weeks.
Benefits of quitting smoking include:
* Twenty-four hours after quitting, an individual's blood oxygen increases and the risk for heart attack decreases.
* Two weeks to three months after quitting, circulation and lung function improve by up to 30 percent.
* One to nine months after quitting, respiratory problems such as coughing, sinus congestion and shortness of breath decrease. An individual also has more energy.