More than 34 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. And more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. While the cigarette smoking rate has dropped significantly, from 42% in 1965 to 14% in 2017, the gains have been inconsistent. Some groups of Americans suffer disproportionately from smoking-related cancer and other diseases, including those who have less education, who live below the poverty level, or who suffer from serious psychological distress, as well as certain racial and ethnic groups, and lesbians, gays and bisexuals.
Quitting smoking improves health immediately and over the long term – at any age. Stopping smoking is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Getting help through counseling and medications doubles or even triples your chances of quitting successfully. Listed below are some helpful tips.
Here are some quick tips:
Prepare for the day you quit and avoid temptation - choose a quit date that's unlikely to be stressful (Like today, the Great American Smokeout 11-15-2018) and make sure you don't have any cigarettes, lighters or matches on you. Avoid places where people around you might be smoking.
Remember all the reasons why you're quitting:
- Feeling great
- Reduced health risks
- Extra money in your pocket
- Improved breathing and general fitness
- Fresher breath
- An improved sense of smell and taste
- Less stress and anxiety
- Cleaner lungs and a stronger heart
Crush the Cravings:
- Talk to someone - call a friend or relative to get some support
- Go for a brisk walk - this will help clear your head and lungs
- Stay busy - read, play a game on your mobile phone, something that will keep your mind and hands busy works best
- Drink a glass of water or juice - keep yourself occupied for those crucial few minutes
- Change scene - just moving to another room can help, or step outside and get some fresh air
Last but not least, remember there's never "just one" cigarette. Keep busy, and if you find a certain time of day hard, try a new routine. You CAN do it!Sources: American Cancer Society, National Health Services-UK