Friday, November 5, 2010

Quitting Smoking Tips from the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these tips to stop smoking.

Are you one of many smokers who want to quit? Then try following this advice.

1. Don’t smoke any number or any kind of cigarette. Smoking even a few cigarettes a day can hurt your health. If you try to smoke fewer cigarettes, but do not stop completely, you’ll soon be smoking the same amount again.

Smoking "low-tar, low-nicotine" cigarettes usually does little good either. Because nicotine is so addictive, if you switch to lower-nicotine brands you'll likely just puff harder, longer, and more often on each cigarette. The only safe choice is to quit completely.

2. Write down why you want to quit. Do you want to— 

Feel in control of you life?

Have better health?

Set a good example for your children?

Protect your family from breathing other people’s smoke?

Really wanting to quit smoking is key to how much success you will have in quitting. Smokers who survive a heart attack are the most likely to quit for good—they're very motivated. Find a reason for quitting before you have no choice.

3. Know that it will take effort to quit smoking. Nicotine is habit forming. Half of the battle in quitting is knowing you need to quit. This knowledge will help you be more able to deal with the symptoms of withdrawal that can occur, such as bad moods and really wanting to smoke. There are many ways smokers quit, including using nicotine replacement products (gum and patches), but there is no easy way. Nearly all smokers have some feelings of nicotine withdrawal when they try to quit. Give yourself a month to get over these feelings. Take quitting one day at a time, even one minute at a time—whatever you need to succeed.

4. Half of all adult smokers have quit, so you can too. That’s the good news. There are millions of people alive today who have learned to face life without a cigarette. For staying healthy, quitting smoking is the best step you can take.

5. Get help if you need it. Many groups offer written materials, programs, and advice to help smokers quit for good. Your doctor or dentist is also a good source of help and support.

Lots more info at:

Tobacco Use in the United States
Current* Smokers
19.8% of U.S. adults (43.4 million people 18 years of age and older)1
20.0% of high school students2
36.4% of American Indian/Alaska Native adults1
21.4% of white adults1
19.8% of African American adults1
13.3% of Hispanic adults1
9.6%   of Asian American adults (excluding Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders)1
*Current smokers are defined as persons who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime and who, at the time of interview, reported smoking every day or some days.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cigarette Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2007. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report [serial online]. 2008;57(45):1221–1226 [accessed 2009 Mar 31].
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cigarette Use Among High School Students—United States, 1991–2007. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report [serial online]. 2008;57(25):689–691 [accessed 2009 Mar 31].

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