“When I was a student at the University of Michigan, I was a 2 pack a day Marlboro smoker. Luckily, my psychology professor suggested I design a stop smoking program to help me fulfill a class assignment as well as to help me become smoke-free. Not only did I successfully quit, but it launched me into a career in health promotion. It was the best thing I have ever done.”
– Don R. Powell, Ph.D., Founder and President of the American Institute for Preventive Medicine and author of this guide.
Smoking is our nation’s #1 preventable cause of illness and premature death. Over 400,000 people in the U.S. die each year from the effects of smoking.
You may not worry about getting lung cancer, emphysema, and/or heart disease, because if one or more of these occur, it will be 30 to 40 years down the road. These illnesses may not motivate you to quit, but they should! Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health! If health benefits don’t make you want to quit smoking, focus on the immediate benefits of quitting. These include:
Six common reasons smokers use to explain why they smoke and why their reasons are incorrect:
Bidis are small brown flavored cigarettes made in India. They are cheaper and easier to buy than regular cigarettes. They are also dangerous.
One bidi produces more than 3 times the carbon monoxide and nicotine than one cigarette and more than 5 times the amount of tar than one cigarette.
In India, bidi-making employs about 5 million women and an estimated 325,000 children a year, at wages as low as $.80 per day. Many rollers suffer from lung disease from inhaling the tobacco dust.
The boxes below show the minimum amount you can save if you quit smoking now. The figures are based on a cost of $6.00 per pack. The totals don’t include the interest you would earn if you put this money in the bank. To see how much cigarettes cost you, access www.cancer.organd search for “Calculate the Cost of Smoking,”
|1 Pack a Day||2 Packs a Day||3 Packs a Day|
Regardless of whether you smoke it, chew it, or just place it between your cheek and gums, all forms of tobacco are hazardous to your health. “Snuff” and chewing tobacco were once considered safe alternatives to cigarettes. They’re not. If you use smokeless tobacco, you absorb nicotine through the mucous membrane of your mouth. Nicotine absorbed in this way is no less addictive than nicotine inhaled from cigarettes or cigars. If you use smokeless tobacco, you run a high risk of: Cancers of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, and stomach; a precancerous condition called leukoplakia (a whitish, wrinkling of the mouth lining); heart disease; gum disease; and tooth decay.
The best way to avoid these risks, of course, is to never use smokeless tobacco. But if you already use it, here are some suggestions to help you stop:
Some tobacco users who are addicted to nicotine find it easier to quit smoking using nicotine reduction therapy. This includes using a nicotine patch (e.g., Nicoderm, Nicotrol), a nicotine gum (e.g., Nicorette), or nicotine lozenges (e.g., Commit). These little doses of nicotine let them reduce their nicotine cravings and wean themselves from tobacco with less anxiety and irritability. The patch, gum, and lozenges are available over-the-counter. A nicotine nasal spray (e.g., Nicotrol NS) and a nicotine inhaler (e.g., Nicotrol) are available by prescription.
Other prescribed medications, such as Chantix and Zyban, do not contain nicotine, but alters brain chemistry to help reduce tobacco cravings.
Also, studies have shown that combining a stop smoking medication with behavior modification greatly increases your chances for success. Get help and step-by-step guides to quit from the Web site listed below.