Smoking Cessation

Tobacco use is the most common avoidable cause of death. About half of the people who don't quit smoking will die of smoking-related problems. Quitting smoking is important for your health. Within hours of the cessation of smoking, your body starts to recover from the effects of nicotine and additives. Body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, all of which are elevated because of the nicotine in cigarettes, return to healthier levels. Your lung capacity increases and the bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier. When this happens toxic carbon monoxide in your blood diminutions, which allows the blood to carry more oxygen throughout the body.

Quitting is challenging. You may have short-term effects such as weight gain, irritability, and anxiety. Some people try several times before they succeed. There are many ways to quit smoking. Some people stop "cold turkey." Others benefit from step-by-step manuals, therapy, or medications or products that help reduce nicotine addiction. Your health care provider can help you find the best way for you to quit. It's a challenge to quit smoking.

  • How much difficulty you will have depends on several factors, including:
  • The reasons you smoke (weight control, social situations, peer pressure)
  • The amount of cigarettes you smoke day-to-day
  • The amount of people you pass time with who smoke (parents, friends, and co-workers)
  • Soon after you quit, your circulation begins to improve, and your blood pressure starts to return to normal. Your sense of smell and taste return, and it's easier for you to breathe. In the long term, giving up tobacco can help you live longer. Your risk of getting cancer decreases with each year you stay smoke-free.

    Some tips on the cessation of smoking include, but are not limited to:

    • Cold turkey (no outside help): About 90% of people who try to quit smoking do it without outside support, no aids, therapy, or medicine. Although many people try to quit this way, it is not the most effective and successful method. Only about 10% of people who try to quit this way succeed on their first try.
    • Behavioral therapy: With behavioral therapy, you visit a therapist who will help you find the most effective way to quit. The therapist will help you to identify your triggers, come up with ways to get through cravings, and provide emotional support when you need it most.
    • Nicotine replacement therapy: Nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, sprays, and lozenges are nicotine replacement therapies (called NRT). Replacement therapy works by giving you nicotine without using tobacco. You may be more likely quit smoking if you use nicotine replacement therapy. But if you're under 18, you need to get your doctor's permission to use nicotine replacement therapy. This therapy works best when combined with behavioral therapy and lots of support from friends and family.
    • Medications: Some drugs, including Zyban and Chantix, are formulated to help people quit smoking. Your doctor must prescribe these medications.
    • Combination treatments: Using a combination of treatment methods can increase your chances of quitting. For example, using both a nicotine patch and gum may be better than a patch alone. Other proven combination treatments include behavioral therapy and nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medication with a nicotine patch, and nicotine patch and nicotine spray.

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