The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that adult male smokers lose an average of 13.2 years of life and female smokers lose 14.5 years of life due to smoking. If saving your life isn’t a good enough reason to quit, you can also save a lot of money. If you smoke a half pack per day, it’s estimated that you could save between $1,200 and $1,800 dollars each year depending on the cost of cigarettes in your state. If you smoke a pack per day, you can save between $2,400 and $3,600 in a year.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF QUITTING
Once you quit smoking, you will see immediate health benefits such as:· 20 minutes after quitting – your heart rate and blood pressure drop
· 12 hours – the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops
· 2 weeks to 3 months – your circulation improves and lung function increases by 30 percent
· 1 to 9 months – coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Lungs begin to heal and cleanse themselves
· 1 year – Risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker
· 5 years – the risk of a stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker
· 10 years – Risk of dying from lung cancer is half that of smoker
· 15 years – Risk of heart disease is same as non-smoker
MAKING YOUR PLAN: HOW TO QUIT FOR GOOD
It’s estimated that it takes most smokers 8 to 10 attempts before they are able to quit for good. Although there is no one “right” way to quit, there is a process that you can follow to increase your chances for success. The four key areas include:
· Making the Decision to Quit
· Picking a Quit Date and Making your Plan
· Dealing with Withdrawal
· Staying Tobacco-free: Be Prepared for Relapses or Difficult Situations
MAKING THE DECISION TO QUIT
Identify the reasons why you want to quit and why now would be a good time to try to quit. Your reasons may include:· Health benefits
· Financial benefits
· Social acceptance
· Health of others
· Setting a good example for your children
PICKING A QUIT DATE AND MAKING YOUR PLAN· Set a quit date within the next 30 days to increase your chances of quitting for good.
· Change your environment. Get rid of all ashtrays in your home and car. Don’t let other people smoke in your home.
· Think about your previous attempts to quit. Review what worked and what did not.
· Try to get the support of family members or friends. There is also individual, group or telephone counseling available. Free programs are available at hospitals and health centers. Counseling may help increase your chances of quitting successfully. Telephone counseling is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and Medications
Medications can also help to increase your chances for being successful with quitting smoking and reducing your urge to smoke. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved seven medications to help you quit smoking:
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Products· Nicotine chewing gum
· Nicotine skin patches (also available by prescription)
· Nicotine lozenges
Prescription Products· Chantix (varenicline tartrate)
· Zyban (buproprion)
· Nicotine inhaler
· Nicotine nasal spray
Before using any product, be sure to talk to your health care provider first and carefully read all the information and instructions on the package.