Tobacco treatment specialist: ‘It’s never too late’ to quit

Local News

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer.

As November marks National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, one respiratory therapist says it’s never too late to quit.

Rajean Backman is a tobacco treatment specialist at CHI St. Alexius in Bismarck.

She says the hospital sees well over 1,000 people every year to receive counseling to quit smoking or tobacco use.

Backman says between 15 to 20 percent of North Dakotans smoke cigarettes, but even one day without smoking can bring improvements to someone’s breathing.

“At any age or at any stage there are benefits. People that have pain have better pain control when they quit. People that are having symptoms, breathing troubles, we can’t resolve those breathing troubles, but quitting smoking helps them more than any medication that can be provided. So it’s never too late,” Backman said.

A 2021 report from the American Lung Association shows North Dakota ranks first in the nation for people receiving lung cancer treatment after their diagnosis.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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