Smoking cessation is the single most important thing you can do to improve the length and quality of your life. While quitting smoking can be difficult, O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group can help you kick the habit for good.
Smoking is an addiction
There are more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, and about 70 can cause cancer. Most smokers become addicted to nicotine, a natural compound found in tobacco. There are more people in the United States addicted to nicotine than to any other drug. Scientific research suggests nicotine may be as addictive as cocaine, heroin or alcohol.
Nicotine withdrawal can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Feelings of irritability, anger and anxiety.
- Trouble thinking.
- Strong cravings for tobacco products.
- Feeling hungrier than usual.
Smoking cessation is hard. Most smokers can relate to Mark Twain as they repeatedly try – and fail – to quit smoking. If you are like most people, you start smoking again because the withdrawal symptoms, stress and weight gain are just too much to bear.
Benefits of smoking cessation
Smoking cessation reduces your risk for serious health problems, diseases and death. Quitting now lowers your risk for many types of cancer, especially lung cancer. Stopping reduces your risk for heart disease, stroke and narrowing of the blood vessels, known as peripheral vascular disease. You can reduce your risk for heart disease within one to two years of quitting.
Stopping smoking can reduce the risk for infertility in women of childbearing age. Pregnant women can reduce the risk for having a low-birth-weight baby by quitting smoking. Quitting reduces your risk for certain lung diseases. Smoking is the primary cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
You will also breathe easier, with less coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. While your symptoms may not disappear overnight or completely, they will not be as bad as they were when you smoked. Within weeks, you will notice more energy and less breathlessness.
Yes, you can quit smoking – other smokers who thought they could never quit have successfully kicked the habit. In fact, there are now more former smokers than there are current smokers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. You are never too old or too young to quit.
Ways to quit smoking
Treatment can help you quit smoking. Individual, group or telephone counseling is effective, as are behavioral therapies. Medications, including nicotine replacement patches and prescriptions, are effective. Help from a pulmonary specialist who specializes in lung care can be of significant help.