is devoted to information to help you in your decision to quit smoking. Everyone knows
that smoking isn't good for your health, but, if that being the case, why don't more
people quit smoking! The effects of smoking on your health are DOSE related meaning that
the longer you have smoked, the number you smoke a day, and the amount of tar in the
cigarette equals the amount of harm that you are doing to your body.
Your body has the amazing ability to heal
itself and it is indeed a miracle that the healing process begins the moment you take that
last puff of cigarette smoke!
If you have smoked
for many years make sure that you take this quiz!
The results may shock you!
* Smoking is an addiction and a major
hea;lth hazard. Tobacco smoke contains nicotine, a drug that is addictive and can make it
very hard, but not impossible, to quit. Some people claim that nicotine the drug is more
powerful than heroine!
* More than 400,000 deaths in the
U.S. each year are caused from smoking-related illnesses. Smoking greatly increases your
risk for lung cancer and many other cancers. There is no denying that smoking is not good
for your health. The health effects caused by smoking are staggering!
* Smoking harms not just the
smoker, but also family members, coworkers, and others who breathe the smoker's cigarette
smoke, called secondhand smoke.
* Among infants to 18 months of
age, secondhand smoke is associated with as many as 300,000 cases of bronchitis and
pneumonia each year.
* Secondhand smoke from a parent's
cigarette increases a child's chances for middle ear problems, causes coughing and
wheezing, and worsens asthma conditions.
* If both parents smoke, a teenager
is more than twice as likely to smoke than a young person whose parents are both
nonsmokers. In households where only one parent smokes, young people are also more likely
to start smoking.
* Pregnant women who smoke are more
likely to deliver babies whose weights are too low for the babies' good health. If all
women quit smoking during pregnancy, about 4,000 new babies would not die each year.
you know these interesting smoking facts?
In the USA, Canada, UK, and in most
developed countries, smoking is the principal preventable cause of death and disease.
In the USA, 530,000 people die each year
from diseases caused by smoking. This is equivalent to 1,325 crashes of a Boeing 747 (more
than 3 crashes per day)! It is more than the TOTALITY of deaths due to road accidents, illegal
drugs, AIDS, alcoholic cirrhosis, homicides and suicides. In the UK, smoking is responsible
for 121,000 deaths per year.
One smoker out of 2 dies of a disease
attributed to his or her smoking. On average, smokers die 8 years before nonsmokers. By
stopping smoking, you add several years to your life expectancy and increase your chances of
seeing your grandchildren grow up.
Tobacco-caused deaths are usually
preceded by long and painful illnesses.
Smoking does not only kill old people. In
the USA, 36% of deaths occurring in men aged 35 to 69 are due to smoking; and 31% for women of
the same age. For the UK, the corresponding figures are 31% for men and 25% for women. (The
mortality is lower for women because, in the past, women were less likely to smoke than men).
The risk of lung cancer is 18 times
higher for smokers than for nonsmokers. The risk of having a heart attack before the age
of 65 is 3 times higher. These risks drop significantly if you quit smoking.
Only 13% of the people who are diagnosed
with lung cancer today will be alive in five years.
Smoking is the cause of many other health
problems: cerebral attacks (strokes), osteoporosis (reduction in the density of the bones,
causing pain and fractures), chronic bronchitis, stomach ulcers, deterioration of the gums,
Smokers cause 33% of all fires (because
of cigarettes thrown in the trash, etc).
Many accidents on the road are caused by
smokers because of inattention while lighting a cigarette or while searching for a cigarette
that has fallen on the floor.
Smoking in the First Place?
* Quitting smoking makes a difference
right away-you can taste and smell food better. Your breath smells better. Your cough goes
away. This happens for men and women of all ages, even those who are older. It happens for
healthy people as well as those who already have a disease or condition caused by smoking.
* Quitting smoking cuts the risk of
lung cancer, many other cancers, heart disease, stroke, other lung diseases, and other
* Ex-smokers have better health
than current smokers. Ex- smokers have fewer days of illness, fewer health complaints, and
less bronchitis and pneumonia than current smokers.
* Quitting smoking saves money. A
pack-a-day smoker, who pays $2 per pack, can expect to save more than $700 per year. It
appears that the price of cigarettes will continue to rise in coming years, as will the
financial rewards of quitting.
Excellent Quitting Tips
Ready to Quit
* Set a date for quitting. If
possible, have a friend quit smoking with you.
* Notice when and why you smoke.
Try to find the things in your daily life that you often do while smoking (such as
drinking your morning cup of coffee or driving a car).
* Change your smoking routines:
Keep your cigarettes in a different place. Smoke with your other hand. Don't do anything
else when smoking. Think about how you feel when you smoke.
* Smoke only in certain places,
such as outdoors.
* When you want a cigarette, wait a
few minutes. Try to think of something to do instead of smoking; you might chew gum or
drink a glass of water.
* Buy one pack of cigarettes at a time.
Switch to a brand of cigarettes you don't like.
On the Day You Quit
* Get rid of all your cigarettes. Put
away your ashtrays.
* Change your morning routine. When
you eat breakfast, don't sit in the same place at the kitchen table. Stay busy.
* When you get the urge to smoke,
do something else instead.
* Carry other things to put in your
mouth, such as gum, hard candy, or a toothpick.
* Reward yourself at the end of the
day for not smoking. See a movie or go out and enjoy your favorite meal.
* Don't worry if you are sleepier
or more short-tempered than usual; these feelings will pass.
* Try to exercise-take walks or
ride a bike.
* Consider the positive things
about quitting, such as how much you like yourself as a non-smoker, health benefits for
you and your family, and the example you set for others around you. A positive attitude
will help you through the tough times.
* When you feel tense, try to keep
busy, think about ways to solve the problem, tell yourself that smoking won't make it any
better, and go do something else.
* Eat regular meals. Feeling hungry
is sometimes mistaken for the desire to smoke.
* Start a money jar with the money
you save by not buying cigarettes.
* Let others know that you have
quit smoking-most people will support you. Many of your smoking friends may want to know
how you quit. It's good to talk to others about your quitting.
* If you slip and smoke, don't be
discouraged. Many former smokers tried to stop several times before they finally
succeeded. Quit again.
If you need more help, see your
He or she may prescribe Zyban,
nicotine gum or a nicotine patch to help you break your addiction to cigarettes.
Reduce and Quit - Prepare for Success
The first step is the most important: Preparation.
Adequate preparation ensures a better
chance for your success, and prevents or reduces problems with relapse while you attain your
goal of reducing or quitting tobacco use.
Tobacco users who fail in their
attempts to quit have often failed to adequately prepare.
The average tobacco user has made six
to eight attempts before successfully changing or eliminating the tobacco habit.
Select a goal. Decide if you want to
reduce or quit your tobacco use, and/or improve your health. Preparation time may take a few
days or up to three months. Don't rush it.
Examine your past successful attempts
to change your tobacco habit. When were you able to reduce or quit for a good amount of
time? What helped you to succeed? There can be important clues in your past experiences that
can help you in your ultimate success.
When adopting a new behavior (such as
exercise or changing your diet), you need to perform that new behavior for at least 100 days
(about three months) in order to create a new and healthy lifestyle habit.
Try to develop only one or two new
habits at a time. Doing more is very stressful and may cause you to have cravings for
tobacco. You may be setting yourself up to fail.
You will need multiple, strong, new
habits to combat the strength of your old tobacco habit. Design a plan with at least six to
12 strategies to help you to relax, cope with stress, occupy your hands or deal with
Develop your new habits first, and then
let go of the old tobacco habit. Changing your tobacco habit can be a very big lifestyle
change, and many tobacco users report that the change consumes much energy and attention for
a while. Having other healthy behaviors already integrated into your lifestyle will make
this transition period easier.
Read Dr. Tom Ferguson's book, "The
No-Nag, No-Guilt, Do-It-Your-Own-Way Guide to Quitting Smoking".
If you use more than the equivalent of
10 cigarettes a day, or if you believe that you are addicted to nicotine, explore the
possibility of using a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) that can help you reduce
withdrawal symptoms. If you believe that a NRT would be helpful, select which NRT you will
use: gum, nasal spray, inhaler or patches.
Identify if you want to use an
antidepressant to help you in the quitting process. You can choose from nutritional or
herbal over-the-counter products, or prescription medications. Zyban (also sold as
Wellbutrin) is the prescription antidepressant that is currently approved by the FDA for
Create a meaningful, personal ritual to
say "goodbye" to your favorite tobacco product or your old tobacco habits, and
follow through with your plan.
Debora J. Orrick, M.A., LCDC, CTAC-ACP
Tom Ferguson, M.D.
Date Published: November, 1998
Date Reviewed: November, 1998
This web site is not
designed to, and does not, provide medical advice. All content, including text, graphics,
images and information available
on or through QuitSmokingSupport.com is for
general informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for
medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never
disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you
have read on this web site. Never rely on
information on QuitSmokingSupport.com in place of seeking professional medical advice.