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Quitting Smoking and Tobacco Use
Does this seem like a goal that is almost impossible to achieve? According to the American Lung Association, nearly 45 million Americans have quit for good. Though it often takes tobacco users several tries before they are finally able to break the habit, quitting is something that you can do with the proper tools and support.
Why Should I Quit?
An estimated 400,000 Americans die each year from diseases directly related to smoking or other tobacco use. New long-term studies indicate that about half of all regular tobacco users die of nicotine-related diseases. Nicotine addiction is responsible for one in five U.S. deaths and costs the economy at least $100 billion in health-care costs and lost productivity. The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that tobacco use is the major preventable cause of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema and many other health problems.
You Can Quit Smoking
- Nicotine is a powerful addiction.
- Quitting is hard, but don’t give up.
- Many people try two or three times before they quit for good.
- Each time you try to quit, the more likely you will be to succeed.
Good Reasons for Quitting:
- You will live longer and live healthier.
- The people you live with, especially your children, will be healthier
- You will have more energy and breathe easier.
- You will lower your risk of a heart attack, stroke or cancer.
Tips to Help You Quit:
- Get rid of ALL cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car or workplace.
- Ask your family, friends and coworkers for support.
- Stay in nonsmoking areas.
- Breathe in deeply when you feel the urge to smoke.
- Be prepared with substitutes for trigger situations — stock up on gum, mints or hard candies.
- Keep yourself busy.
- Reward yourself often.
Quit and Save Yourself Money:
- At $6.80 per pack, if you smoke one pack per day, you will save $2,482 each year and $24,820 in 10 years. What else could you do with this money?
Keys To Quitting
By considering these five points, you will be able to create a strategy for quitting:
- Get ready
Set a date to quit and stick to it. It may be helpful to cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day for a week or two before your quit date.
- Line up a support system
Tell your family, friends and coworkers you are quitting. Discuss your decision with your doctor or other health-care provider. Get group, individual or telephone counseling.
- Learn new behaviors
When you first quit, try changing your daily routine. Doing things differently may distract you from urges to smoke or chew. Plan something enjoyable to do each day to reward yourself and reduce your stress level.
- Get medication
Talk with your health-care provider about which medication would work best for you. Prescription drugs, nicotine inhalers and nicotine nasal spray as well as over-the-counter nicotine patches and gum can help you quit.
- Be prepared for relapse
Many people have to “practice” quitting a few times before they break the habit for good.