Tobacco use is the most common preventable cause of death. About half of the people who don’t quit smoking will die of smoking-related problems. Quitting smoking is important for your health.
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 it’s easier for you to breathe. 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.
Quitting is not easy. You may have short-term effects such as weight gain, irritability, and anxiety. Some people try several times before they succeed. 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. Some people think that switching to e-cigarettes can help you quit smoking, but that has not been proven. Your health care provider can help you find the best way for you to quit.
Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. The sooner you quit, the sooner your body can start to heal. You will feel better and have more energy to be active with your family and friends.
Smoking hurts almost every part of the body.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States.
● Lung cancer and many other types of cancer
● Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung diseases
● Pregnancy problems
● Vision loss
Learn more about how smoking affects different parts of the body.
Smoking hurts other people, too.
Secondhand smoke is a mix of the smoke that comes from your cigarette and the smoke that you breathe out. Secondhand smoke is dangerous and can cause health problems for the people around you.
In babies and children, breathing in secondhand smoke can cause:
● Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
● Severe asthma attacks
In adults, breathing in secondhand smoke can cause:
● Lung cancer
How Can I Quit?
You can quit smoking.
Quitting smoking is hard, but millions of people have done it successfully. In fact, more than half of Americans who ever smoked have quit. You could be one of them!
Nicotine – the drug found in all tobacco products – is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. It’s the nicotine in cigarettes that causes the strong feeling that you want to smoke (craving). Remember – quitting isn’t easy, but it is possible!
Take these steps to help you quit:
● Make a list of the reasons you want to quit.
● Set a quit date and make a plan to deal with cravings.
● Ask your family, friends, and coworkers for support.
You will feel better after you quit.
Your body begins to heal as soon as you quit smoking. Here are some ways you will feel better:
● You will breathe more easily.
● Your senses of taste and smell will improve.
● You will have more energy.
● Your lungs will become stronger, making it easier for you to be active.
● You will cough and wheeze (struggle to breathe) less.
Quitting smoking will help you live a longer, healthier life.
After you quit smoking:
● Your risk of having a heart attack or stroke goes down.
● Your risk of dying from cancer goes down.
● The levels of oxygen and carbon monoxide in your blood return to normal.
● If you have children, you can help them be healthier by quitting smoking. Children whose parents smoke around them are at higher risk for lung and ear infections.
Will quitting make me gain weight?
Some people worry about gaining weight when they quit smoking. It’s true that some people gain weight after quitting, but you can prevent weight gain by making healthy choices.
● Get active. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, like walking fast or dancing.
● Eat healthy snacks, like vegetables or fruit.
● Talk with your doctor about ways to control your weight.
Make a Plan
Take these steps to quit smoking.
- Write down your reasons to quit.
- Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit. For example, your reasons to quit might be to set a healthy example for your children and to save money. Keep the list with you to remind yourself why quitting is worth it.
Set a quit date.
● Pick a date that gives you enough time to get ready to quit. But make sure it’s soon enough that you don’t lose your motivation.
● Tell your family, friends, and coworkers about your quit date so they can support you.
Make a quit plan.
● Think about situations that might trigger you to smoke. Plan how you will handle them without smoking.
● Right before your quit date, go through your house, car, and workplace to get rid of anything that has to do with smoking. Throw away all your cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters, and matches.
● Clean your clothes so they don’t smell like smoke.