You know smoking is bad for your health. But quitting isn’t easy! It takes time and a plan. If you want to quit, but you just can’t seem to get it done, maybe it’s time you join other smokers with the same goal. Take part in the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Great American Smokeout by making today “day one,” developing a plan, or gather resources to help you make this the time you quit for good.
What is the Great American Smokeout? The Great American Smokeout takes place annually on the third Thursday in November. The nationwide event challenges people to smoke less or to quit for at least one day. It also raises awareness of the many effective ways to quit smoking for good.
Benefits of quitting
The US Surgeon General has said, “Smoking cessation [stopping smoking] represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.” No matter how old you are, quitting smoking will improve your health. When you quit, you:
- Decrease your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
- Reduce your risk of lung and other types of cancer.
- Improve your circulation and lung function.
- Lower your blood pressure.
Learn more about the health benefits of quitting smoking over time.
Make a quit plan
Quitting smoking by yourself can be difficult. But you can do it! According to the American Cancer Society, it’s easier to quit if you have a good plan for doing so and have the support of family and friends.
First, you must select a date to quit and stick to it. Circle it on your calendar, and make a strong commitment to quit on that day. The ACS also advises that you:
- Tell family and friends about your quit date and ask them to support you in a positive way.
- Stock up on oral substitutes, such as sugarless gum and carrot sticks.
- Decide on a method to help you quit. You may want to use nicotine replacement products or sign up for a support group. Several types of nicotine replacement patches, gum, and lozenges are available to purchase over-the-counter, while other methods are available with a doctor’s prescription.
- Get rid of all tobacco products, lighters, ashtrays, and other smoking-related items.
- Stay physically active. Exercise can help you fight nicotine cravings.
- Stand in front of a mirror and practice saying, “No thank you. I don’t smoke.”
Your doctor can recommend cessation programs or strategies that are right for you. Need a doctor? Make an appointment at one of our convenient Erlanger Primary Care locations!