How to Quit Smoking

The effects of smoking on your health

Although the health risks associated with smoking are well known, almost 45 million Americans continue to smoke. Quitting smoking is, without a doubt, the single best thing you can do for your health. Every time you smoke a cigarette, you inhale more than 4,000 chemicals. Below is just a partial list of health complications in which smoking is a key player.

  • Cancer
  • Respiratory problems
  • Heart and circulatory problems
  • Bones problems
  • Oral problems
  • Eye problems
  • Other problems

Discover just how dangerous smoking can be >

Your options for quitting

There are many tools available to smokers who want to quit. The more options you use, the better your chances of success. As you review your options, keep in mind how well each will fit into your lifestyle and which ones are suitable for you. Your doctor can answer your questions and, if needed, write you a prescription.

  • Cold turkey
  • Nicotine replacement
  • Bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin)
  • Varenicline (Chantix)
  • Nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor)
  • Alternative treatments

Read more about the effects of smoking >

The benefits of quitting

Congratulate yourself for taking the necessary steps to be smoke-free. By eliminating tobacco from your life, you are doing something wonderful for your health and the health of those around you. Although you may not initially notice them, the health benefits of smoking cessation will begin within hours of when you crush out your last cigarette. Here are some of the good things you will be doing for your body:

  • In 20 minutes, your blood pressure and your pulse return towards normal.
  • In 8 hours, the levels of carbon monoxide and oxygen in your blood return towards normal.
  • In 24 hours, your risk of heart attack is lower.
  • In 48 hours, your senses of smell and taste improve.
  • In 2 weeks to 3 months, your circulation improves, and your lung function increases up to 10%.

Read more about quitting smoking options >

1996-2014. Aetna Inc. All rights reserved. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regimen. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions. External website links provided on this site are meant for convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. These external links open in a different window. The Aetna InteliHealth website subscribes to the HONcode principles of the Health On the Net Foundation. "InteliHealth" and "The Trusted Source" are trademarks of Aetna Inc.

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