Of the many thousands of chemicals in cigarettes, many have been found to be very harmful to your health. Most people know that smoking can cause lung cancer, but it can also cause many other health problems such as:
o cardiovascular disease
o breathing problems (athsma)
o high blood pressure
o heart attacks
• Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. Half a million Americans face premature deaths each year due to smoking.
What advice do you have for those who want to quit smoking?
• The first step is to identify why you want to quit and set clear and realistic goals
o In reaching those goals, you’ll feel a sense of pride along the path to becoming tobacco-free. Health providers can help come up with a personal action plan to help reach those goals.
• Seek support from family, friends, coworkers, counseling.
o You will have a better chance of quitting successfully if you have that support.
• Identify things that make you reach for a cigarette (smoking triggers). Think about and avoid situations in which you will be at greatest risk for smoking.
• There are also many medicines available to help. You can double your chances of quitting when you combine medicine and other quit strategies.
What obstacles do people face when trying to quit?
• It can be very difficult to stay motivated. It helps to make a list of your reasons to quit and put that list on your bedroom dresser, in your wallet, or on the refrigerator. Review it whenever you are struggling with the quitting process to remind you of your motivation.
• Most people are not successful the first few times they try to quit smoking. Many will slip or relapse. When that occurs, consider changing your approach to quitting.
1. Seek help from health providers, friends, family, or counselors to help overcome these obstacles.
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