Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Mississippi with a survival rate of less than 20 percent, according to the American Lung Association. The national organization says the new year is a good time to refocus on healthy living. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Mississippi. Dr. Albert Rizzo, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, says many individuals plan to quit during this time of year but less than five percent of smokers quit cold turkey. Rizzo explains a few ways to get you closer to your resolution.
"So you want to try and find some support around you and also find ways to make it more convenient to quit. You also know that you have an association of smoking cigarettes with a certain time of day, with meals or after work. Try to put something else in those times when you would normally reach for a cigarette and smoke," said Rizzo.
The association is launching a campaign called Breathe Easier in 2019 with tips about how to keep your lungs healthy like testing your home for radon and screening for lung cancer. Along with quitting smoking, Dr. Rizzo advises Mississippians living with a lung disease to get more physically active.
"Because most lung diseases as you get short of breath you tend to be more sedentary . So you start to slow down. You start to do less things. And that by itself decondition you and make you feel more short of breath the next time you do anything. So you want to try to maintain those normal good healthy lifestyles, try to stay active, proper weight, nutrition and sleep," said Rizzo.
In 2016, almost 23 percent of adults in the state used cigarettes- outnumbering the national average of 17 percent. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.