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. Smoking is a key player in many health conditions, including:

  • Cancer
  • Breathing problems
  • Heart and circulatory problems
  • Bone problems
  • Oral problems
  • Eye problems

Your options for quitting

Smokers have many options to help them 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. Your doctor can answer questions. Some quitting medicines require a prescription.

  • Nicotine replacements (gum, patches, etc.)
  • Bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin)
  • Varenicline (Chantix)
  • Nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor)
  • Alternative treatments (hypnosis, acupuncture, etc.)

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 notice them at first, the health benefits of quitting 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 toward normal.
  • In 8 hours, the levels of carbon monoxide and oxygen in your blood return toward 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%.
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