National Smoke out Day at SGMC - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

National Smoke out Day at SGMC

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An information pamphlet about quitting smoking. An information pamphlet about quitting smoking.
Gary Vogt Gary Vogt
Marie Sims Marie Sims
A person is using the breath machine at the SGMC National Smokeout Day event to see if they may be suffering from the affects of smoking. A person is using the breath machine at the SGMC National Smokeout Day event to see if they may be suffering from the affects of smoking.
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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

In honor of National Smoke out Day, South Georgia Medical Center set up an information center where staff members helped educate people on the dangers of using tobacco products.

SGMC Pulmonary Physiologist Gary Vogt said there are many common dangers.

"Common dangers, of course. COPD, emphysema, these are long term things," said Vogt. "Cardiovascular issues. If you have underlying cardiovascular issues it could cause them to become much worse," Vogt continued.

Most of us are aware of the dangers, but that still doesn't stop people from smoking. Take Marie Sims for example. She is the Community Health Promotions Coordinator at SGMC. She no longer smokes, but says she started smoking as a teenager even though she knew the dangers.

"I was somewhat aware of the health risks when I became a smoker, um, when I was a teenager but it wasn't something I was worried about because I was a teenager," Sims said.

Even though you may not use tobacco products yourself, you could still suffer from some of the consequences. The information center set up at SGMC had a machine that people could use to measure the amount of oxygen they breathe in and out.

Vogt said the machine helps doctors determine whether or not you you may be suffering from the affects of smoking.

"It gives us something to see how people's lungs are functioning...we can kind of get an idea of whether or not they have a restrictive disorder, if it's normal or if it's obstructed," Vogt pointed out.

Electronic cigarettes, or 'e-cigs', have become a popular way for some smokers to wean themselves off of actual cigarettes in hopes of quitting altogether, but Vogt said it's not quite that simple.

 "It comes down to this: all those things are great aids, but the bottom line is you have to make a mental note and say 'I want to do this' and you have to hold yourself accountable," said Vogt.

Whether you use e-cigs or not, Vogt said as long as you quit that's all that matters.

For more information on National Smoke out Day, visit https://www.sgmc.org

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