Quit smoking today: why and how to kick the habit

Quit smoking today: why and how to kick the habit

Despite the fact that tobacco use is the largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, one in five adults in America smoke cigarettes, according to The American Cancer Society. There are also more than 15 million Americans who consume tobacco products in other ways, such as cigars and pipes.

Cigarettes kill more than 480,000 Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, and it also hurts the people around the smoker via secondhand smoke. Smokers who try to quit cold turkey without the help of medicines or external assistance have a dismal 4 to 7 percent success rate.

Those statistics are difficult to hear if you or someone you love is a tobacco user. The good news is that it’s possible to quit smoking. Studies show that 25 percent of smokers who use quit-smoking medicines stay smoke-free for more than six months. Counseling and/or participation in a support group can boost that percentage even higher. So where should you start?

Know the challenges. Nicotine withdrawals can go on for several days or several weeks. Quit-smoking medications such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum or nicotine lozenges can reduce the severity of these symptoms, and most importantly, they will fade with time.  

Get support. Don’t go it alone! Goshen Health offers support through our Smoking Cessation Program (call 574-364-3759 for more information). You can start by outlining all the reasons you want to quit smoking. Additionally, some tobacco users choose to tell friends and family that they’re quitting, so they can provide a safe, supportive environment.

See the change. Your health improves the second you quit smoking. Your heart rate and blood pressure drop; the carbon monoxide level in the blood normalizes; your circulation improves; your lung function increases; and, eventually, the risks of cancer and heart disease are cut in half. Keeping those health improvements in mind can help you stop tobacco use—for good!

 

Posted: 7/14/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: Cancer, Cardiovascular, Care, Health, Heart, Quit, Smoking, Stop

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