If you have tried to quit smoking or chewing tobacco, you know how hard it can be. Don’t get discouraged if you have to try to quit a few times before you succeed. The following information and resources will help you achieve your goal.
- Tips to help you quit
- Benefits of quitting
- More information
Tips to help you quit
With cigarettes more expensive than ever, now is a great time to quit. When you get the urge to smoke or chew tobacco:
- Discuss it with a friend.
- Delay it. The urge will pass.
- Breathe deep and stay calm.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Do something else.
You can also try:
- Getting rid of all ashtrays, lighters and smoking materials.
- Deciding how you’ll turn down a cigarette before it is offered to you.
- Exercising. Go for a walk or a bike ride.
- Putting your saved money in a big jar.
- Telling yourself each morning that you don’t smoke.
- Holding a pencil in your hand when talking on the telephone.
- Rewarding yourself each week for being tobacco-free.
- Talking to a smoking coach who can help you create an individual quit plan that is just right for you.
Benefits of quitting
- You will live longer and live better.
- Your risk of heart attack, stroke or cancer is lowered.
- Your children and other people you live with will be healthier if they are not exposed to secondhand smoke.
- You will have extra money to spend on things other than cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Additional benefits of quitting smoking, if you are a:
- Pregnant woman or new mother you will protect your baby’s health and your own.
- Hospitalized patient you will reduce your health problems and help healing.
- Heart attack patient you will reduce your risk of a second heart attack.
- Lung, head, and neck cancer patient you will reduce your chance of a second cancer.
- Parent you will protect your children and adolescents from illnesses caused by second-hand smoke.
Compared to smokers,
- Stroke risk is reduced to that of a person who never smoked after 5 to 15 years of not smoking.
- Cancers of the mouth, throat, and esophagus risks are cut in half five years after quitting.
- Cancer of the larynx risk is reduced after quitting.
- Coronary heart disease risk is cut in half one year after quitting and is nearly the same as someone who never smoked 15 years after quitting.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease risk of death is reduced after you quit. Lung cancer risk drops by as much as half, 10 years after quitting.
- Ulcer risk drops after quitting.
- Bladder cancer risk is cut in half a few years after quitting
- Peripheral artery disease goes down after quitting.
- Cervical cancer risk is reduced a few years after quitting.
- Low birth weight baby risk drops to normal if you quit before pregnancy or during your first trimester.
Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of healthy changes that continue for years.
After you stop smoking, in:
- 20 minutes - Your heart rate drops.
- 12 hours - Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 weeks to 3 months - Your risk of heart attack begins to drop, and your lung function begins to improve.
- 1 to 9 months - Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
- 1 year - Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.
- 5 years - Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting.
- 10 years - Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker, and your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.
- 15 years - Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a non-smoker.
Be Tobacco Free.Gov
A comprehensive web site with answers to your questions about quitting, secondhand smoke, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and more.