Why do I want to Stop Smoking?
There are many good reasons to stop smoking. Tobacco use is the most common preventable cause of death. About half of the people who do not quit smoking will die of smoking-related problems.
Quitting smoking is important for your health and provides many benefits:
- Soon after you quit, your circulation begins to improve
- Blood pressure starts to return to normal.
- Sense of smell and taste return
- Breathing starts to become easier
- You live longer.
- Your risk of getting cancer decreases with each year you stay smoke-free.
Quitting is not easy. You may have short-term effects such as weight gain, irritability and anxiety. You may try several times before succeeding.
There are many ways to quit smoking
- Some people stop "cold turkey."
- Some benefit from step-by-step manuals, counseling or medicines or products that help reduce nicotine addiction.
- Support and Self Help Groups:
- Together, you and Dr. Mills can determine which is the best way for YOU to quit!
How can I prepare to stop smoking?
- Set a stop date 2 to 4 weeks from now so you'll have time to get ready.
- Write down your personal reasons for stopping.
- Keep your list with you so you can look at it when you feel the urge to smoke.
- Just before your stop date, get rid of all of your cigarettes, matches, lighters and ashtrays.
How can I get support and encouragement?
- Tell your family and friends what kind of help you need. Their support will make it easier for you to stop smoking.
- There are online and telephone hotlines you can use:
- 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669)
- 1- 800-367-6274
- Dr. Mills may recommend “Time To Quit”, the smoking cessation program at CentraState Medical Center- call them at 732-308-0570 for information
- Give yourself rewards for stopping smoking. For example, with the money you save by not smoking, buy yourself a non food item like movie tickets or a special perfume.
What will happen when I stop smoking?
How you feel when you stop depends on how much you smoked, how addicted your body is to nicotine and how well you get ready to stop smoking.
- You may crave a cigarette or feel hungrier than usual.
- You may feel edgy and have trouble concentrating.
- You also may cough more at first, and you may have headaches.
These symptoms are from nicotine withdrawal and are strongest during the first few days after you stop smoking, but most go away within a few weeks.
What about nicotine replacement products or medicine to help me stop smoking?
Nicotine replacement works by lessening your body’s craving for nicotine and reducing withdrawal symptoms. This lets you focus on the changes you need to make in your habits and environment. Nicotine products come in several forms:
- Nicotine inhaler (Nicotrol)
You can buy the nicotine gum, patch. lozenge and inhaler without a prescription.
Certain prescription medications may help some people stop smoking. Talk to Dr. Mills about which of these products may help. For any of these products to work, you must carefully follow the package directions. It's very important that you don't smoke while using nicotine replacement products.
Start thinking about if you are ready to stop smoking. If you are, or think you may be, Dr. Mills will work with you at your upcoming appointment to create a personalized plan to quit smoking.
Resources: SmokeFree.gov: http://smokefree.gov/quit-plan
Medline Plus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/quittingsmoking.html