On Monday, the American public received the good news that President Obama appears to be in good health after his latest physical check up. More importantly, he is also “tobacco free,” according to the medical report.
This is an excellent way to start off November, which is also Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
As many of you probably know, smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, and quitting can greatly reduce a person’s chances of developing the disease.
More than 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, according statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 160,000 people die from the disease annually, and the majority of those deaths are due to smoking.
Besides smoking, other risk factors for lung cancer include exposure to radon gas or asbestos and family history of lung cancer.
To prevent lung cancer, the CDC recommends:
-Avoiding secondhand smoke
-Testing homes and workplaces for radon
-Eating fruits and vegetables
Of these, obviously, quitting smoking can be the hardest recommendation to follow for most people. It took the president himself years to kick the habit that he picked up in his youth, even though he knew how bad it was for him.
There are a number of tips out there to help people stop smoking. Like Obama, people can try nicotine replacement therapies, such as gum or patches, to ease cravings. Physical activity and avoiding triggers like alcohol can also help.
Finally, for people who are really having trouble, doctors can prescribe certain prescription pills, which can reduce cravings.
Congratulations to President Obama for finding a method that worked for him and successfully giving up cigarettes. I hope this inspires other people to follow his lead and live healthier lives.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.