Quitting Smoking

Quitting Cigar smoking, Cigarette smoking, Pipe smoking, Tobacco smoking

Tobacco use is the most common preventable cause of death. About half of the people who don’t quit smoking will die of smoking-related problems. Quitting smoking is important for your health.

Soon after you quit, your circulation begins to improve, and your blood pressure starts to return to normal. Your sense of smell and taste return, and it’s easier for you to breathe. In the long term, giving up tobacco can help you live longer. Your risk of getting cancer decreases with each year you stay smoke-free.

Quitting is not easy. You may have short-term affects such as weight gain, irritability, and anxiety. Some people try several times before they succeed. There are many ways to quit smoking. Some people stop “cold turkey.” Others benefit from step-by-step manuals, counseling, or medicines or products that help reduce nicotine addiction. Some people think that switching to e-cigarettes can help you quit smoking, but that has not been proven. Your health care provider can help you find the best way for you to quit.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Health Benefits of Quitting

Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer.1,4,7 Smoking increases the risk for serious health problems, many diseases, and death.1,4

People who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death. Although the health benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, there are benefits at any age.1,4,8,9 You are never too old to quit.

Stopping smoking is associated with the following health benefits:1,4,8,9

  • Lowered risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer.
  • Reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease (narrowing of the blood vessels outside your heart).
  • Reduced heart disease risk within 1 to 2 years of quitting.
  • Reduced respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. While these symptoms may not disappear, they do not continue to progress at the same rate among people who quit compared with those who continue to smoke.
  • Reduced risk of developing some lung diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, one of the leading causes of death in the United States).
  • Reduced risk for infertility in women of childbearing age. Women who stop smoking during pregnancy also reduce their risk of having a low birth weight baby.

 

References

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Research Report Series: Is Nicotine Addictive?. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2012 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  3. American Society of Addiction Medicine. Public Policy Statement on Nicotine Addiction and Tobacco. Chevy Chase (MD): American Society of Addiction Medicine, 2008 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Reducing Tobacco Use: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2000 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  6. Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update—Clinical Practice Guidelines. Rockville (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2008 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  7. National Toxicology Program. Report on Carcinogens, Thirteenth Edition. Research Triangle Park (NC): U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Toxicology Program, 2014 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  8. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  9. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 1990 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quitting Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2000–2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2017;65(52):1457-64 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report [serial online] 2016;66(SS–6):1–174 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  12. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Guide to Community Preventive Services: Reducing Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure [accessed 2017 Jan 24].
  13. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA Approves Novel Medication for Smoking Cessation. FDA Consumer, 2006 [accessed 2017 Jan 24].