Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Smoking Cessation

The most important New Year's resolution you may ever make

The New Year is a symbol of renewal and can be a time to prepare for new beginnings. It is a time to set goals and make them public so that you can get support and encouragement from friends and family. Many smokers use the New Year's holiday as motivation to quit.

For some, this is the first time they've tried to quit; for others, they may have tried before. Regardless, this may be the most important resolution a smoker ever makes. Free help is available by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Break the Addiction

Nicotine is the drug in tobacco products that makes them addictive. In fact, nicotine dependence is the most com-mon form of addiction in the United States. Research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.

Quitting smoking can be challenging and may require multiple attempts. But you can quit, and it's important to keep trying. Don't give up! You learn something new every time you try.

Almost 50 million smokers have successfully quit. In fact, since 2002, the number of former U.S. smokers has exceeded the number of current smokers.

Smokers want to smoke because nicotine changes the way the brain works and causes them to crave more and more nicotine. These powerful cravings can make it hard to think about anything else. Smoking can cause both physical and mental addiction. But smokers can beat addiction to tobacco.

The first days are the most uncomfortable. The physical symptoms end about three weeks after you quit. You can beat the mental addiction, too.

Improve Your Health

Breaking free from nicotine dependence is not the only reason to quit smoking. Cigar-ette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and chemical compounds, many of which are toxic or carcinogenic (i.e., cause cancer).

Smoking is one cause of dangerous plaque buildup inside your arteries. Plaque is made of cholesterol and scar tissue. It clogs and narrows your arteries. This can trigger chest pain, weakness, heart attack, or stroke. Plaque can rupture and cause clots that block arteries. Completely blocked arteries can cause sud-den death.

Fortunately, people who stop smoking can greatly reduce their risk for disease and premature death. And the younger you are when you quit, the better your chance for avoiding these problems. So don't wait!

Quitting smoking:

·   lowers the risk for lung and other types of cancer.
·   reduces the risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
·   reduces respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
·   reduces the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
·   reduces the risk for infertility among women during their reproductive years. Women who stop smoking during pregnancy also reduce their risk of having a low birth weight baby.

If you quit smoking, you will also help protect your children, family, and friends from exposure to secondhand smoke that can cause immediate harm to the nonsmokers who breathe it.

Support to Quit

For support to quit, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669; TTY 1-800-332-8615). You can get free support and advice from experienced coun-selors, a personalized quit plan, self-help materials, the latest information about cessation medications, and more.

You may also want to check out these resources 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or you can go online to: idaho.quitnet .com or call the 2-1-1 Idaho CareLine (dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-926-2588) to find classes nearby to help you quit using tobacco.

This message was brought to you by the Nez Perce Tobacco Prevention Coalition and the Center Disease Control. For more information you may also contact Nimiipuu Health Community Wellness 843-2271 or Mary Johnson 935-4110 or Jean Anne Moose at 621-4612.

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