Want to Quit?
Contact the American Cancer Society Quitline for free and confidential counseling services, support and information:
You can also visit www.yesquit.com or click "Want to Quit?" on the left side of your screen for more information
Thinking about quitting?
It’s Worth Thinking About.
Perhaps smoking has yet to launch you into coughing attacks, yet to take your breath away by simply climbing stairs or yet to make you sick with bronchitis. If so, now is the best time to quit. Before it does.
Every day, scientists uncover new health and environmental hazards related to smoking, but your reasons for quitting are the most important. As you read through this list of considerations and facts, check those that concern you and add any that come to mind.
130,000 deaths per year from cancer
170,000 deaths per year from heart disease
50,000 deaths per year from lung disease
In the U.S., cigarette smoking is responsible for:
Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable illness and death.
Each year it snuffs out more lives than AIDS, illegal drugs, alcohol, fires, car accidents, murders and suicides combined.
And yet nearly a quarter of all adults in Texas still smoke. In fact, one of them will die in the next 22 minutes.
You know smoking is harmful, and you’ve taken the right step in thinking about quitting.
Allow Nothing to Get in Your Way
You know quitting will be tough because it means giving up something that you like or you think you need. Smoking may feel like your best friend, but in truth it is your worst enemy. More than half of Texans who smoke will get sick or die from it.
Here are a few common thoughts and their underlying truths:
“I’m under a lot of stress and smoking relaxes me.”
Your body is used to nicotine, so you naturally feel more relaxed when you give your body a substance it’s come to depend on.
But nicotine is, in fact, a stimulant: it raises your heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline level. In just a few weeks after quitting, you’ll feel much less stressed and nervous.
“I smoke only safe, low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes.”
These cigarettes still contain harmful substances, and many smokers who use them inhale more often and more deeply to maintain their nicotine intake. Studies show that carbon monoxide intake increases with a switch to low-tar cigarettes.
“I’m worried about gaining weight.”
Gaining weight isn’t for certain. Many tips are available to keep your weight stable. Ask your doctor, call the American Cancer Society’s toll-free QUITLINE at 1-877-YES-QUIT (1-877-937-7848), or visit www.cancer.org.
“I don’t know what to do with my hands.”
This is a common worry among smokers thinking about quitting. You can keep your hands busy in other ways. It’s just a matter of getting used to the change. Try holding a pencil, paper clip or marble. If you’re at home, think of all the things you wish you had time to do, make a list, and consult the list for alternatives to smoking whenever your hands feel restless.
When you decide to stop smoking, tell your family, friends and primary care doctor. Together, they can help you take the next step.
Consider your entire family
If you die prematurely from a smoking-related illness, who will do all the things you do for your family? Your family needs your emotional and financial support.
Infants born to smokers are at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome and low birth weight.
Children exposed to secondhand smoke at home are more prone to colds, ear infections and allergies than children of non-smoking parents. Worse still, they are more likely to become smokers themselves.
Secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer 30 percent, resulting in 3,000 additional cases of lung cancer per year.
Adults exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to have respiratory diseases and symptoms that lead to absenteeism from work.
Spouses of smokers have a higher risk of heart disease.
When you quit smoking, you will:
Look better (no more yellow teeth and fingers, fewer wrinkles as you age)
Feel better (good-bye hacking cough, hello vitality)
Enjoy life more (flowers smell sweeter, food tastes better)
Cut your risk of heart disease, stroke, chronic bronchitis and emphysema
Save money (about $1,250 in a year if you smoke one pack a day)
Prevent fires (smoking is a major cause)
Be a safer driver (hands hold the wheel instead of cigarettes, better night vision)
Stop wasting time looking for a place to smoke
Be more productive at work and home
Have fewer colds and sick days
Go more places (restaurants, theaters, museums, sports arenas)
Be proud of yourself