Don’t Smoke: Here’s How to Quit
No ifs, ands or butts—just quit. If you smoke, quit. There are many tools available to help you kick the habit, such as smoking cessation programs, medications available through your doctor, and do-it-yourself willpower. Find a program that appeals to you and stick to it.
Did you know that tobacco use is the leading actual cause of death in the United States? Smoking not only causes lung diseases (such as lung cancer, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis), it ca also increase your risk for:
- Heart disease
- Early menopause
- Cancer of the throat, mouth, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder and cervix
Smoking while you’re pregnant can cause serious and even life-threatening health risks for your baby. It increases your chances of a miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death, premature or early birth, or having a baby with a low birth weight. If you smoke and breastfeed, your baby is exposed to the same harmful chemicals that you are.
Steps to Quit Smoking
It often takes people who want to quit smoking several tries before they can quit for good. The nicotine in cigarettes is very addictive. Giving up smoking is hard to do, but it can be done. Here are some tips to help you quit:
- Pick a date to stop smoking.
- Tell family, friends, and coworkers that you plan to quit. As them for their support.
- Create a fund. Put the money that you would have spent on cigarettes in a special place. Set a goal for yourself. When you reach the goal, use the fund to treat yourself.
- Plan for challenges. If you get the urge to smoke, try to do something else – talk to a friend, go for a walk, or do something you enjoy. Reduce your stress with exercise, meditation, or a hot bath.
- Keep sugar-free gum handy to help handle cravings.
- Remove cigarettes from your home, car, and workplace.
- Talk to your health care provider about medications to help you quit, such as the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, or an antidepressant medication that can help relieve nicotine withdrawal and the urge to smoke.
- Get more help if you need it. Join a quit-smoking program or support group to help you quit.