If you have tried to quit smoking or chewing tobacco, you know how hard it can be. Don’t get discouraged if you have to try to quit a few times before you succeed. The following information and resources will help you achieve your goal.
- Tips to help you quit
- Benefits of quitting
- More information
Tips to help you quit
With cigarettes more expensive than ever, now is a great time to quit. When you get the urge to smoke or chew tobacco:
- Discuss it with a friend.
- Delay it. The urge will pass.
- Breathe deep and stay calm.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Do something else.
You can also try:
- Getting rid of all ashtrays, lighters and smoking materials.
- Deciding how you’ll turn down a cigarette before it is offered to you.
- Exercising. Go for a walk or a bike ride.
- Putting your saved money in a big jar.
- Telling yourself each morning that you don’t smoke.
- Holding a pencil in your hand when talking on the telephone.
- Rewarding yourself each week for being tobacco-free.
- Talking to a smoking coach who can help you create an individual quit plan that is just right for you.
Benefits of quitting
- You will live longer and live better.
- Your risk of heart attack, stroke or cancer is lowered.
- Your children and other people you live with will be healthier if they are not exposed to secondhand smoke.
- You will have extra money to spend on things other than cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Additional benefits of quitting smoking, if you are a:
- Pregnant woman or new mother you will protect your baby’s health and your own.
- Hospitalized patient you will reduce your health problems and help healing.
- Heart attack patient you will reduce your risk of a second heart attack.
- Lung, head, and neck cancer patient you will reduce your chance of a second cancer.
- Parent you will protect your children and adolescents from illnesses caused by second-hand smoke.
Compared to smokers,
- Stroke risk is reduced to that of a person who never smoked after 5 to 15 years of not smoking.
- Cancers of the mouth, throat, and esophagus risks are cut in half five years after quitting.
- Cancer of the larynx risk is reduced after quitting.
- Coronary heart disease risk is cut in half one year after quitting and is nearly the same as someone who never smoked 15 years after quitting.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease risk of death is reduced after you quit. Lung cancer risk drops by as much as half, 10 years after quitting.
- Ulcer risk drops after quitting.
- Bladder cancer risk is cut in half a few years after quitting
- Peripheral artery disease goes down after quitting.
- Cervical cancer risk is reduced a few years after quitting.
- Low birth weight baby risk drops to normal if you quit before pregnancy or during your first trimester.
Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of healthy changes that continue for years.
After you stop smoking, in:
- 20 minutes - Your heart rate drops.
- 12 hours - Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 weeks to 3 months - Your risk of heart attack begins to drop, and your lung function begins to improve.
- 1 to 9 months - Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
- 1 year - Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.
- 5 years - Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting.
- 10 years - Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker, and your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.
- 15 years - Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a non-smoker.
Be Tobacco Free.Gov
A comprehensive web site with answers to your questions about quitting, secondhand smoke, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and more.
Tobacco Quit Line
Quit Line coaches develop quit plans tailored to individual needs and challenges. This chart explains what kind of services are available to you.