We all know the dangers of smoking, but no one will deny the challenge of quitting once an addiction takes hold. The cravings may seem impossible to fight, but putting your cigarette habit to rest is doable if you are motivated to see the process through, even when the temptations seem irresistible.
The strongest motivation to quit comes from knowledge of the dangers you face each time you light up a cigarette. The risk of lung cancer is well publicized, but according to the American Cancer Society, smoking can also lead to several other types of cancer including:
- Sinus cancer
- Mouth cancer
- Nose cancer
- Throat cancer
- Larynx cancer
- Esophagus cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Cervical cancer
Other health problems linked with smoking include heart attack, stroke, vision problems, blood clots, and lung disease.
Although you won’t actually observe your risk for lung cancer or other health complications decreasing, there will be some rewards you can immediately begin noticing. These observations can help keep your motivations high. Some results you may notice are:
- Whiter teeth
- Better-smelling breath
- Improved sense of smell
- Improved sense of taste
- Fading of yellow-colored fingertips or fingernails
- Improved physical abilities
- Better breathing
Your Quit Day
The American Cancer Society recommends choosing an official “quit day” that gives you enough time to prepare, but not so much time that you’ll talk yourself out of it. You will need to plan your strategy before the quit day approaches. Some quit cold turkey, while others gradually decrease the amount of cigarettes they smoke per day. You might want the assistance of gum or patches to curb any cravings. Preparing for your quit day might also include talking to your doctor, getting a prescription, or starting recommended medications.
Tips for Quitting
Once your quit day approaches, keep these tips in mind:
- Stay active and hydrated
- Avoid places or situations where you know temptation will be stronger
- Change your routine so that you won’t be reminded of the times that you usually took smoke breaks
- Join a support group for encouragement and accountability
Plantation General Hospital wants to help you quit smoking. Let us get involved or provide support. For questions or recommendations on local support groups, call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-866-442-2362.