No matter how much or how long you’ve smoked, when you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease and stroke starts to drop. In time your risk will be about the same as if you’d never smoked! It takes some work, but the benefits of quitting far outweigh the health (and financial) costs of a smoking habit. Feel better, look better and be a healthy role model for your kids, family and friends. This article offers great resources and tips for kicking the habit. And of course, replace smoking with our other healthy habits, such as exercise and eating fresh vegetables, and you’re guaranteed great results!
By Jane M. Rice
CRNP Antrim Family Medicine
“Can You Afford NOT To Quit Smoking?”— that’s what is on a poster in our office. It lists the yearly cost of smoking:
- 1⁄2 pack per day = $730 per year
- 1 pack per day = $1,460 per year
- 1 1⁄2 packs per day = $2,190 per year
- 2 packs per day = $2,920 per year
- 2 1⁄2 packs per day = 3,650 per year
- 3 packs per day = $4,380 per year.
However, just stating costs does not diminish the effort it takes to quit smoking. Not only do you need to want to quit, you must also plan for the quit day as well as develop a support system to help you through the days ahead.
Fortunately, there are a variety of helpful information methods available. Your primary care provider is an excellent resource to provide information as well as methods to assist you in smoking cessation. Locally, both Summit Health and Fulton County Medical Center have offered classes that include educational materials and support.
The following web sites also provide a wealth of educational material and helpful information:
Another opportunity to get information is to call the Office of the Surgeon General toll free at1-800-QUIT NOW.
According to the American Heart Association, about 46 million American adults smoke cigarettes, but most smokers are either actively trying to quit or want to quit. Since 1965, more than 49 percent of all adults who have ever smoked have quit. No matter how much or how long you’ve smoked, when you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease and stroke starts to drop. In time your risk will be about the same as if you’d never smoked!
How to Quit
The Centers of Disease Control offer these tips to quit smoking:
- Don’t smoke any number or any kind of cigarette.
- Write down why you want to quit.
- Know that it will take effort to quit smoking.
- Half of all adult smokers have quit, so you can, too.
- Get help if you need it.
Substitute smoking with healthy eating and exercise — the healthy habits that have been discussed in previous articles that you have hopefully already implemented.
The advantages of quitting smoking are many: after two days, the senses of smell and taste improve; after three days, breath get easier and lung capacity increases; after one to nine months, coughs, sinus problems and shortness of breath decrease and energy increases.
Of far greater importance and impact is to be positive role models to children, family, friends and co-workers. What a wonderful gift!