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How to Quit Smoking

When you quit smoking, you improve your overall health. You reduce your risk of cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, emphysema and other smoking-related diseases. Quit-smoking products can lessen your urge to smoke. Most replace nicotine for a while, and all help ease you off your addiction, increasing your chances for quitting for good.

There's no question that you will improve your health by quitting smoking.

When you stop smoking, you:

  • Reduce your risk of cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, emphysema and other smoking-related diseases
  • Help prevent pneumonia and bronchitis
  • Lose your smoker's cough
  • Stop smoking-related headaches
  • Enjoy better overall health

You also help others stay healthy by:

  • Reducing your family's risk of lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory infection and other health problems caused by secondhand smoke
  • Increasing your chance of having a healthy baby if you become pregnant

Finally, you will enjoy life more by:

  • Having a smoke-free home
  • Having more spending money
  • Increasing your energy level
  • Getting rid of cigarette breath, yellow teeth and fingers
  • Improving your sense of taste and your sense of smell

Overcome Your Excuses

Instead of smoking to cope with stress, try exercise, meditation and deep breathing.

Accept that you might gain a little weight. A few extra pounds are better than the damage smoking does to your body. Limit weight gain by choosing healthy snacks and the right portion sizes.

You're never too old to quit. Your body will benefit from stopping smoking no matter what your age.

Don't be afraid of withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine last only a few weeks but the benefits of quitting last a lifetime.

Getting Help to Quit

Quit-smoking products lessen your urge to smoke. Most replace nicotine for a while, and all help ease you off your addiction, increasing your chances for quitting for good. New treatments and products are available for smoking; please consult with your physician for more information.

These products are not for everyone. Never smoke and use a nicotine substitute at the same time because you could overdose on nicotine.

You also may find it helpful to interact with other people who are trying to quit smoking. Phone counseling is available from a quit line. Or ask your hospital, public health department or health care provider to connect you with local resources to help you quit. Contact the National Cancer Institute at 877-448-7848 or at www.smokefree.gov.


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