Smoking. It is the number one cause of preventable death. About one in five deaths are attributed to tobacco. The new year is a popular time to quit and quitting is about the best thing you could do to increase your health and the health of those around you.
Within a year of quitting your excess risk of heart disease halves.
Within a day you start to breath easier, smell better and save money.
Quitting smoking helps protect the health of people around you, especially babies and children. Secondhand smoke has more than 50 chemicals that are known to cause cancer in adults. It can also cause lung disease and heart disease in people who have never smoked. Parents who quit smoking provide a great role model to their children and teens.
Like many New Year’s resolutions, deciding to change a behavior isn’t as easy as actually doing it. In fact, many smokers or tobacco users try to quit several times before they succeed.
You can START the process by—
S = Setting a quit date. Pick a date within the next 2 weeks. That gives you enough time to get ready, but not so much time that you lose your determination.
T = Telling others about your plan to quit. Quitting is easier to do with support from others. Tell family, friends, and co-workers how they can help you.
A = Anticipating the challenges you will face. Most people who return to smoking do it within the first 3 months. Be prepared for situations when you will be tempted to smoke and plan for how you will deal with them.
R = Removing cigarettes from your home, car, and work. Getting rid of things that remind you of smoking will help you get ready to quit. Clean your car, get rid of lighters and ashtrays, and have your teeth cleaned to get rid of smoking stains.
T = Talking to your doctor about getting help to quit. Some people need help to manage the withdrawal from nicotine. Ask your health care provider if a medicine might help you. You can buy some of these medicines on your own, like the nicotine patch or nicotine gum. Others require a prescription.
Quitting smoking is one of the best New Year’s resolutions you can make to protect your health.