In the United States, cigarette smoking is responsible for about one in five deaths annually. On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers. For every person who dies of a smoking-related disease, 20 more people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking such as emphysema. Cigarette smoking increases the length of time that people live with a disability.
Nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrat-
ing, and increased appetite. It usually takes about seven tries to quit tobacco before most are successful. Users often relapse because of withdrawal symptoms and now we can help.
There's an abundance of evidence to prove that smok-
ing cigarettes or using smokeless tobacco is a serious health hazard. It's also expensive, since a one-pack-per-day habit will cost you over $500 per year. Quitting may not be easy, but it can be done, as many ex-smokers have proven. You may be able to do it yourself or you may need some outside help. It isn't important how you
do it. What's important is the fact that you're quitting.
Health Benefits of Quitting
- People who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk of dying prematurely. Benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, but cessation is beneficial at all ages.
- Smoking cessation lowers the risk for lung and other types of cancer.
- Risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease is reduced after smoking cessation.
- Cessation reduces respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. The rate of decline in lung function is slower among persons who quit smoking.
- Women who stop smoking before or during pregnancy reduce their risk for adverse reproductive outcomes such as infertility or having a low-birth-weight baby.
Tobacco Use Cessation Methods
Brief clinical interventions by health care providers can increase the chances of successful cessation, as can counseling and behavioral cessation therapies. Treatments with more person-to-person contact and intensity (e.g., more time with counselors) are more effective. Individual, group, or telephone counseling like that offered free at 1-866-SD-QUITS are all effective.
Pharmacological therapies found to be effective for treating tobacco dependence include nicotine replacement products (e.g., gum, inhaler, patch) and non-nicotine medications, such as Bupropion SR (Zyban�) and Varenicline Tartrate (Chantix�).
References from the Center for disease control at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data