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Quitting Smoking

Why should I quit smoking?

There are many reasons why quitting is important:

  • Smoking is bad for your health. Smoking is responsible for 420,000 deaths each year in the U.S. That's one in every five deaths! It's a leading cause of heart disease, cancer, and lung problems.
  • Smoking harms others. Secondhand smoke not only makes non-smokers uncomfortable, it also kills over 50,000 of them each year. Babies who breath secondhand smoke are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Smoking is unattractive. Smoking stains your fingers and teeth, creates wrinkles on your face, and leaves a stale smell on your breath, hair, and clothes.
  • Smoking is expensive. If you smoke a pack a day, you spend over ,800 a year on cigarettes. Being a smoker also raises some of your insurance costs.

How do I quit smoking?

Some people choose to quit "cold turkey" (all at once) while others prefer to stop gradually. Listed below are some tips to help you through the quitting process. Remember, different things work for different people, so if you're having a hard time with one method, try another.

Before you quit

  • Ask yourself, "Do I really need this cigarette?" Cut out the ones that you do not feel a strong need to smoke.
  • Write down your reasons for quitting, and look at them often.
  • Take fewer puffs each time you smoke.
  • When you have an urge to smoke or use tobacco, wait five minutes; the urge may go away.
  • Make a list of things you can do instead of smoking.
  • Learn from the last time you tried to quit. What worked? What didn't work?
  • Figure out when, where and why you usually smoke. These are your smoking “triggers”
  • Find a friend who can help.
  • Set a quit date.
  • Throw away your cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters the night before your quit date.
  • Plan how you will make it through your first day.

After you quit

  • If you haven’t already, remove smoking reminders like cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays from your home and workplace. Consider cleaning your furniture and carpets to remove the smell of smoke.
  • Be aware of your smoking triggers and refer to your list of things you can do instead. If you used to smoke when you were stressed, try exercising instead. If you used to smoke after a meal, brush your teeth instead and see how clean your mouth feels. If you used to smoke when you went out with friends, suggest gathering at a place where smoking isn't allowed.
  • Many people find that they eat more when they stop smoking because quitting awakens your taste buds and eating keeps your mouth occupied. Be sure to watch your meal portions, drink plenty of water and snack on healthy foods like raw vegetables. Even if you do gain a few pounds, it's still much healthier than smoking!
  • Reward yourself for not smoking. Take the money you save by not buying cigarettes and spend it on yourself. You deserve it!

Which of the following best describes you?

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