LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – November is national lung cancer awareness month.
Doctors across the country and in Acadiana are encouraging patients to quit smoking for good.
Octavia Ledet has been a smoker for over 30 years, smoking three packs a day.
Back in July, she started having chest pain; she thought it was simply indigestion.
“Before I went to the emergency room I was smoking a cigarette and then I finish this cigarette then I walk into the emergency room and that was the last cigarette I had,” Ledet recalls.
Ledet needed surgery to place three stents in her chest to alleviate blockages.
Dr. Fernando Ruiz with the Cardiovascular Institute of the South performed the procedure.
“After he did the procedure and he asked me if I was interested in quitting smoking and I said yes,” Ledet says.
“It is a very, very strong addiction. Unfortunately, it carries with it various amounts of health problems and disease,” Ruiz recalls.
According to the American Cancer Society, 36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes.
Tobacco use still remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature deaths in the world.
“When you quit smoking you reduce your chances of developing a heart attack and you reduce your chances of developing a stroke,” Ruiz says.
So to help, folks nationwide take part in The Great American Smokeout every November, a day set aside for smokers to officially quit.
Ledet says quitting was the best decision she ever made.
“My quality of life is so much better. My overall health. My complexion is clearer, I can smell I can taste my food and I just feel better all the way around,” Ledet says.
She adds that she’ll be joining in for The Great American Smokeout this year, knowing full well she won’t be picking up a cigarette ever again.
This year’s Great American Smokeout is this Thursday, November 16.