Smoking Cessation Facts

Smoking cessation is used to describe the combination of medicine and aids, changes in personal habits, and emotional support that help smokers quit smoking. Learn More ›

Tips for a Successful Quit Smoking Day

You've done your homework, made your plan, tossed out all your cigarettes and now the big day is here: Day One of your plan to quit smoking. If you can make it through this first day and this first week, when nicotine withdrawal symptoms are at their worst, you will be on your way to success.

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Smoking: Truth and Consequences

Thinking about giving up cigarettes? If you’ve tried before without success, you may feel unsure about whether you can quit for good. You may also wonder how to prepare for such a big change. Start by learning everything you can about the health risks of smoking. Then consider how kicking the habit will affect your health and life. Finally, arm yourself with the latest techniques that can help smokers quit. There are now more aids to help smokers become ex-smokers than ever before.

When you smoke, toxins are carried by your blood to every organ in your body. At the same time, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke keeps red blood cells from carrying as much oxygen as normal. As a result, the cells throughout your body are deprived of the oxygen that they need to work properly, the American Lung Association (ALA) says.

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Smoking Cessation: Putting Out the Fire

In an ideal, non-addictive world, the idea that each year, smoking accounts for nearly one in every five deaths in the United States would make smokers want to quit. Or, the knowledge that smoking causes everything from cancer and heart disease to reproductive issues and breathing problems would be enough to make anyone refrain from ever lighting up again. The fact is, tobacco use is the most common preventable cause of death. Even so, quitting isn’t easy.

It really comes down to the nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and found in all tobacco products. It’s no wonder so many ex-smokers say giving up cigarettes was one of the hardest things they’ve ever done. Smoking can make you feel calm and satisfied—but that’s where the cycle starts. The more you smoke, the more nicotine you’ll need to feel that way. It becomes a normal part of your everyday routine.

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It’s Never Too Late to Quit Smoking

When you've been diagnosed with cancer--particularly lung cancer--it may be hard to think or talk about quitting smoking. Why? Because you smoke even though everybody knows that smoking is bad for your health. And everyone knows that it can cause cancer. Plus, we also know that quitting is hard.

Over the years, perhaps you have tried to quit. Or maybe you wanted to, or planned on it, but never did. Now that you're faced with cancer, you may be overwhelmed with guilt, or focused on your treatment. You may not even be thinking about quitting smoking. Or you may be thinking, "I've got cancer; it makes no sense now."

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Help for Your Smoking Habit

If you're a smoker, stopping smoking is the most important step you can take to increase the length and improve the quality of your life, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.

Quitting smoking isn't easy, but it can be done. For most people, the best way to quit is some combination of medicine, a method to change personal habits and emotional support.

Here is a review of quit-smoking aids, from the American Cancer Society (ACS).

These patches provide a measured dose of nicotine through the skin. As the nicotine doses are lowered by switching patches over a course of weeks, the tobacco user is weaned off nicotine.

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Maintaining Weight Once You've Quit Smoking

You now need another excuse if you haven't quit smoking because you're worried you may gain weight.

Although people generally gain weight when they stop smoking, you can reduce your chances of adding extra pounds by taking steps to prevent it. Being aware of situations in which you could be tempted to overeat and devising strategies to cope with those instances is your best bet.

The following suggestions can help you maintain your weight after you stop smoking.

Taking a walk, riding a bicycle, dancing or doing any other aerobic activity you enjoy is an important component of a weight-control program. Try to exercise at least 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week.

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How to Quit Smoking, Again

If you're like most smokers who have tried to quit, you may have tried unsuccessfully several times. But you can try again and succeed.

Fewer than a quarter of those who attempt to quit are able to make it beyond three months before resuming smoking, according to the American Public Health Association. Women usually find it harder to quit than do men, even though women have a higher risk of smoking-related diseases.

The following suggestions can help you kick the habit, again, for good.

If you relapse, the first thing you should do is not give up. Instead, take stock of the situation. When did the relapse start and what caused it?

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Did You Know?

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14.5 years-that's the average years of life a woman loses to smoking. Men lose an average of 13.2 years.