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Quitting Smoking

A woman promises to no longer smoke

Print the full article here!

People smoke for many different reasons.

  • Their friends smoke.
  • It helps them relax.
  • It’s a habit (they’re used to smoking with food, drink or at parties).
  • They might be addicted to smoking.
  • Why do YOU smoke?

Quitting smoking is good for your health

  • Smoking damages your body, especially your lungs and heart.
  • Smoking can cause cancer.
  • Women who smoke have more problems giving birth to healthy babies.
  • You can stay healthier by quitting smoking!

Smoking may cause serious diseases, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Lung disease
  • Cataracts (which can cause blindness)
  • Respiratory infections, including sore throats and colds

How can you quit smoking?

You need to:

  • Decide that you really want to quit
  • Change your behavior and habits
  • Get support from family, friends and health care professionals
  • Maybe use medicine to help you quit.

You can make a plan to quit smoking.

Pick a day to quit smoking.

  • Mark it on your calendar!

Tell people you plan to quit and tell them when.

Visit your doctor for a quick checkup.

Set up a support system!

  • Ask family and friends to help you.
  • Ask your doctor or support provider about classes or groups for people to quit smoking.
  • Your doctor may prescribe medication to help you stop smoking.

Avoid things that make you want to smoke.

  • Get rid of all cigarettes and ashtrays where you live and work.
  • Ask other people who smoke not to smoke near you.

Distract yourself from thinking about smoking.

Think of other things to do when you want a cigarette.

  • Chew gum, snack on raw vegetables, eat popcorn or sugarless candy.
  • Stay busy! Plan to exercise or work on hobbies.

Change your daily routine.

  • Eat different foods and follow a different schedule.

Stick to it!

Be strict with yourself.

Don’t think of reasons to have ‘just one more’ cigarette.

Give yourself a treat.

  • Save the money you would have spent on cigarettes and buy yourself a present!

You may gain weight when you quit smoking.

If you are hungry, eat fruits and vegetables and avoid sweets and fatty foods.

Get lots of exercise.

  • It’s also a great way to stay busy and relieve stress.

Even if you gain weight, you are still healthier not smoking.

Think of the benefits of quitting smoking:

  • You breathe more easily and cough less – have fewer colds and respiratory illnesses.
  • You lower your risk of heart disease and cancer.
  • You feel better and have more energy.
  • Food tastes better.
  • You and your clothes smell better.
  • You have sweeter breath and whiter teeth.
  • You will have a longer, healthier life.

If you start smoking again, don’t be discouraged.

Many smokers try several times before they quit for good.

Think about why you started smoking again.

Try, try again.

Learn more about the health effects of smoking.

Use these links for tips on how to quit smoking.

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PDF icon HP_Quitting Smoking_Apr2014.pdf4.29 MB
Last updated on Thu, 06/17/2010 - 14:17