In a new message, the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) division introduced a public health campaign concentrating on smoking cessation for senior citizens. The program elaborates on a central theme that says, “No matter your age, quitting smoking improves your health.” The agency lists the benefits of cessation, including the critical health impact that diseases have on those who continue to use tobacco.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Lower risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, and lung disease
  • Better blood circulation
  • Improved sense of taste and smell
  • Not smelling like smoke
  • Setting a healthy example for children or grandchildren

The initiative promotes programs and options for those interested in quitting. It educates seniors on the public health impacts of tobacco use, provides insight into risk for health issues like cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease, and it gives examples of research for better health at any age. Although the NIA encourages all smokers to quit, the public awareness campaign is mainly targeted to long-time smokers who have struggled to quit.

Whether it’s with patients, among local health policymakers, or at a national advocacy level, ONS and its members are working diligently to further smoking cessation education and habits. Quitting tobacco is key to reducing risk for cancers, especially among older populations with a higher susceptibility of developing cancers.