Tobacco use is the most common preventable cause of death. People who do not quit smoking, have a 1 out of 2 chance of dying of a smoking-related disease, such as lung cancer, stroke, emphysema or heart disease.
It is important for you health to stop smoking. Quitting cigarettes and other forms of tobacco provides a variety of important health benefits.
Soon after you quit, your circulation begins to improve, and your blood pressure starts to return to normal. Your sense of smell and taste return and breathing starts to become easier. In the long term, giving up tobacco can help you live longer.
Your risk of getting cancer decreases with each year you stay smoke-free. Although there are benefits to quitting at any age, it is important to quit as early in life as possible to avoid getting one of these serious illnesses caused by smoking.
QUITTING IS NOT EASY
You may have short-term effects such as weight gain, irritability and anxiety. Some people try several times before succeeding. There are many ways to quit smoking. Some people stop “cold turkey.” Others benefit from step-by-step manuals, counseling or medicines or products that help reduce nicotine addiction.
If you want to quit smoking, you’ll need willpower—and perhaps the aid of a product that’s intended to help you beat the addiction. Your health care provider can help you find the best way for you to quit.
There are several FDA approved product that can help some people to quite smoking. These include prescription and non-prescription medication, such as skin patches, lozenges, and gum.
Many approved smoking cessation products help users wean themselves from smoking by using specific amounts of nicotine, the drug present in the tobacco plant which is primarily responsible for people’s addiction to tobacco products. And, as is the case with other medications, there are risks and other considerations associated with the various products that consumers must weigh against the benefits.
Tips for Quitting Smoking
Most smokers want to quit, but find it very difficult. If you are one of the more than 70% of smokers who want to quit, consider taking the following steps:
1. Don’t smoke any cigarettes. Even occasional smoking is harmful. Each cigarette you smoke damages your lungs, your blood vessels, and cells throughout your body.
2. Write down why you want to quit. Do you want to—
- Feel in control of your life?
- Have better health?
- Set a good example for your children?
- Protect your family from breathing other people’s smoke?
Really wanting to quit smoking is very important to how much success you will have in quitting.
3. Know that it will take commitment and effort to quit smoking. Nearly all smokers have some feelings of nicotine withdrawal when they try to quit. Nicotine is addictive. Knowing this will help you deal with withdrawal symptoms that can occur, such as bad moods and really wanting to smoke.
There are many ways smokers quit, including using nicotine replacement products (gum and patches) or FDA-approved, non-nicotine cessation medications. But there is no easy way. For most people, the worst of the symptoms only last a few days to a couple weeks. Take quitting one day at a time, even one minute at a time—whatever you need to succeed.
4. Get help if you want it. Smokers can receive free resources and assistance to help them quit by calling the 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline (1-800-784-8669).
Concerned about weight gain? It’s a common concern, but not everyone gains weight when they stop smoking. There are ways to control your weight while quitting.
5. Remember this good news! More than half of all adult smokers have quit, and you can, too. Millions of people have learned to face life without a cigarette. Quitting smoking is the single most important step you can take to protect your health and the health of your family.