12 hours After Quitting Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting Your heart attack risk begins to drop. Your lung function begins to improve.
1 to 9 Months After Quitting Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
1 Year After Quitting
Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
5 Years After Quitting
Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker's 5-15 years after quitting.
10 Years After Quitting
Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker's.
Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
15 Years After Quitting
Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker's.
Nicotine: A powerful addiction
If you have tried to quit smoking, you know how hard it can be. It is hard because nicotine is a very addictive drug. Usually people make a few attempts to quit before they succeed, but it is possible to quit on the first attempt. Each time you try to quit, you can learn about what helps and what hurts.
Quitting takes hard work and a lot of effort, but you can quit smoking.50,000,000 (million) Americans have quit using tobacco, you can too!
Good reasons for quitting
Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you will ever do.
You will live longer and live better.
Quitting will lower your chance of having a heart attack, stroke, or cancer.
If you are pregnant, quitting smoking will improve your chances of having a healthy baby.
The people you live with, especially your children, will be healthier.
You will have extra money to spend on things other than cigarettes.
Five keys for quitting
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Studies have shown that these five steps will help you quit and quit for good. You have the best chances of quitting if you use them together.
Learn new skills and behaviors.
Get medication and use it correctly.
Be prepared for relapse or difficult situations.
1. Get ready
Set a quit date.
Change your environment.
Throw out ALL cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work.
Ask visitors not to smoke in your home.
Look at your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked and what did not.
Once you quit, don't smoke again -- NOT EVEN A PUFF!
2. Get support
Research shows that you have a better chance of being successful if you have help. You can get support in many ways:
Tell your family, friends, and co-workers that you are going to quit and want their support. Ask them not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out in front of you.
Talk to your health care provider (for example, doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, psychologist, or smoking counselor).
Get individual, group, or telephone counseling. The more counseling you have, the better your chances are of quitting. Find a program at a local hospital or health center. Call your local health department for information about programs in your area.
3. Learn new skills
Try to distract yourself from urges to smoke. Talk to someone, go for a walk, or get busy with a task.
When you first try to quit, change your routine. Take a different route to work. Drink tea instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place.
Try to reduce your stress. Take a hot bath, exercise, or read a book.
Plan to do something every day that makes you happy.
Drink a lot of water and other fluids.
4. Get medication
Medications can help you reduce some of you urges to smoke.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved these medications to help you quit smoking: the patch, nicotine gum, nicotine lozenges (available over the counter) and a nicotine inhaler, nasal spray, Chantix and Zyban/Buproprion (all available by prescription)
Ask your health care provider for advice and carefully read the information on the package.
These medications can double your chances of quitting and quitting for good.
Everyone who is trying to quit may benefit from using a medication. If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, nursing, under age 18, smoking fewer than 10 cigarettes per day, or have a medical condition, talk to your doctor or other health care provider before taking medications.
5. Be prepared
Most relapses happen within the first three months after quitting. Don't be discouraged if you start smoking again. Remember, most people try to quit several times before they are successful. Here are some difficult situations to watch for:
Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol. Drinking lowers your chances of success.
Other Smokers. Being around smoking can make you want to smoke.
Weight Gain. Many smokers will gain weight when they quit, usually less than 10 pounds. Eat a healthy diet and stay active. Don't let weight gain distract you from your main goal quitting smoking. Some quit-smoking medications may help delay weight gain.
Bad Mood or Depression. Find other ways to improve your mood besides smoking: talk to a friend, family member or counselor; start a new hobby; exercise or go for a walk outside.
If you are having problems with any of these situations, talk to your doctor or other health care provider.
You can prepare for tempting situations before they arise.
Plan ahead. Know what you will do in any given situation before you encounter it. Practice that plan often
Avoid the situation until you feel you can deal with it.
Change the routines you associate with smoking as much as possible
Keep yourself busy. Avoid boring situations where you may begin to think about smoking.
Remind yourself often that you are happy being a nonsmoker.
When a craving hits: General suggestions
Deep Breathing. Every time an urge hits take in a slow deep breath, hold it for three to five seconds and then slowly exhale.
Drink some water.
Talk about the urge. Call your support person or let people around you know you need to talk for a few minutes.
Escape the situation. Leave until you feel comfortable going back.
Say to yourself, "I am in control" or "I can get through this."
Just accept the thought. It's natural that you will have thoughts about cigarettes once you quit. Don't make a big deal out of them. Say to yourself "So what" and let the thought go.
Get up from the table as soon as you are done eating
Brush your teeth right away after every meal
Avoid restaurants that allow smoking, or sit in the nonsmoking section
Take a short walk after each meal
Explore alternative ways to socialize with friends
Remind yourself that you can have fun without drinking. Millions of people do it all the time!
If you do choose to drink, try changing what you usually drink, and limiting yourself to one or two drinks.
Always carry a book/newspaper/puzzle with you
Plan ahead so that you will not have long periods of inactivity
Use idle time to make the grocery list, plan your schedule or write letters
Start a new hobby or begin an exercise program to fill the time
Choose a slightly different route for routine trips
Remove the ashtray from the car
Listen to the radio or books on tape to keep your mind occupied
Use public transportation for the first few weeks after you quit
Change the environment in the car. Clean the entire interior, get new seat covers, put up a no smoking sign, etc.
Drink a flavored coffee or a different brand
If you always have your morning coffee at home, have it at a café or at work
Drink tea or a different beverage for the first few weeks instead of coffee
Find projects to do while at home. Clean out the basement, refinish furniture, etc.
Keep yourself occupied while watching TV. Do puzzles, make out the grocery list, read a magazine
Visit family or friends instead of staying at home
Begin a new hobby, or volunteer
Start an exercise program. If you can't do anything else, take a brisk half hour walk each night
Use cinnamon sticks (the kind used for cider)
Suck on sugar free candy or chew sugar free gum
Use straws/ swizzle sticks/ tooth picks
Eat carrots, celery sticks, grapes, or other healthy snacks
Living with another smoker
Negotiate with the other smoker about where and when he/she will smoke. Do not make demands
Have the other smoker keep his/her cigarettes where you will not be able to find them
Give the smoker one ashtray. They will keep this ashtray clean and out of your sight when not in use
Surprise the smoker with a special dinner or gift at the end of your first month of quitting to thank them for their support
Change the order of your routine
Jump into the shower as soon as you get up
Eat something for breakfast if you normally do not
Look in the mirror first thing each morning and say, "I'm proud to be a nonsmoker!"
Avoid places where you know people are smoking for the first few weeks of your quit
Leave the scene from time to time if you have to be in a smoking environment
Politely explain to the person that you are trying to quit and ask them not to smoke around you
Realize that the smoker is not happier or having more fun than you are just because they are smoking
Before you go, develop and practice a plan to deal with situation
Rehearse going to the function. Close your eyes and see yourself having a good time, meeting people, and enjoying the music all without a cigarette.
Practice saying "No thank you, I don't smoke" just in case someone offers you a cigarette
Don't drink alcohol or limit yourself to one or two drinks
Have a support person with you at the party
Stress management/negative mood
Separate cigarettes from the situation. Realize that smoking never made a situation any better or helped you deal with it.
Step back, take a deep breath, and say to yourself, "I can handle this." Then deal with the problem.
Strategize about how to handle stressful situations with friends, relatives or other support persons before encountering those situations.
Begin an exercise program, take a formal stress management class or learn to meditate.
Stand instead of sit. If possible, use a portable phone so you can move around.
Move the location of the phone
Hold the phone in the hand opposite of the one you usually use
Limit your time on the phone
Remember, the average weight gain, as a direct result of quitting, is only five to seven pounds. Any weight gain over and above that is due to behavioral changes on the part of the quitter.
Prepare by having healthy snacks available prior to your quit. Carrots, celery sticks, grapes, plain popcorn, raisins, dried fruit, etc.
Drink six to eight glasses of water a day.
Begin a modest exercise program. If you can do nothing else, take a brisk half hour walk every day.
Remember, smoking does not turn your body into a fat burning machine. If it did, every smoker would be about 100 lbs!!
Put a "No Smoking" sign or motivation poster in your work area
Change your work routine as much as possible
Take your break at a different time
If you usually smoke outdoors, stay inside during your break. Read or work on a crossword puzzle
Listen to music, talk radio, or tapes
Have a support person at work
Realize that you don't need an excuse to take a break. You deserve it!
Special situations or conditions
Studies suggest that everyone can quit smoking. Your situation or condition can give you a special reason to quit. Here is how you can benefit from quitting:
Pregnant women/new mothers - Protect your baby's health and your own.
Hospitalized patients - reduce health problems and help healing.
Heart attack patients - reduce your risk of a second heart attack.
Lung, head, and neck cancer patients -reduce your chance of a second cancer.
Parents of children and adolescents - protect your children and adolescents from illnesses caused by second-hand smoke.
Questions to think about
Ask yourself the following questions before you try to stop smoking. You may want to talk about your answers with your health care provider.
Why do I want to quit?
When I have tried to quit in the past, what helped and what didn't?
What will be the most difficult situations for me after I quit? How will you plan to handle them?
Who can help me through the tough times? Your family? Friends? Health care provider?
What pleasures do I get from smoking? What ways can you still get pleasure if you quit?
Questions to ask your health care provider
How can you help me to succeed at quitting?
What medication do you think would be best for me and how should I take it?
What should I do if I need more help?
What is smoking withdrawal like? How can I get information on withdrawal?
Free support groups in King County:
MultiCare Auburn Medical Center, FREE Living Tobacco-Free Weekly Support Group. Provides support for people interested in trying to quit tobacco, struggling with relapse, or helping a friend to quit. Year-round, Wednesdays, 6 - 7pm. 2nd floor, Heart Care Center Classroom, 202 N. Division St, Auburn, WA 98001. Drop-ins welcome! For more information, please call Heidi at 253-223-7538 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Auburn Valley YMCA, Accelerate Your Quit workshops. A free, three-hour workshop that provides techniques, support, and practical steps for quitting tobacco permanently. Participants will leave with a personalized Quit Plan ready to put into action. Upcoming dates: 3/23/13, 5/11/13, 7/20/13, 9/21/13, 11/16/13; 12:30 3:30pm. 1620 Perimeter Rd, Auburn WA 98001. Registration required, please call Heidi at 253-223-7538 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Federal Way St. Francis Hospital, FREE Freedom From Tobacco weekly Support Group. Provides support for people interested in trying to quit tobacco, struggling with relapse, or helping a friend to quit tobacco. Year-round, Thursdays, 6:30 - 7:30pm. Executive Dining Room, 34515 9th Ave S. Federal Way, WA 98003. Drop-ins welcome! For more information, please call Heidi at 253-223-7538 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vashon Nicotine Anonymous, support group. Fridays at 7pm. Vashon Presbyterian Church, 17708 Vashon Highway S.W. Vashon, WA, 98070. For additional information, e-mail email@example.com, and in your e-mail reference the Group ID# 800-47-006.
To reach a live person to help you in quitting and links to loads of info to help you contact:
Si vive en Washington y le interesa dejar de fumar, llame gratis al numero: 1-877-2NO-FUME (1-877-266-3863)
Washington State now offers Asian-language Quitline services. Telephone counseling services are available in the following:
Chinese (Cantonese/Mandarin): 1-800-838-8917
Hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 9am-9pm, with 24-hour voicemail service available.
Smokefree.gov provides information on quitting, along with free support via chat room or phone! Call 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) for free phone support with a counselor from the National Cancer Institute, available in English or Spanish. Smokefree.gov also has a free texting service to provide 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to help smokers quit for good. Sign up for SmokefreeTXT to start.
Public Health Service Agency for Health Care Policy and Research 2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 501 Rockville, MD 20852
We partner with many clinics who serve Medicaid, uninsured, and underinsured populations. This can include sexual minority health promotion agencies, chemical dependency, substance abuse, and mental illness agencies, or homeless service providers. Information about clinics and agencies in King County.
Check us out on Facebook! KCQuits is a resource for people in King County looking for support. This page is open to anyone interested in talking about quitting -- whether you've quit yourself, are in the process of quitting, are thinking of quitting in the future, or just want to lend support to others going through this.
All information is general in nature and is not intended to be used as a substitute for appropriate professional advice. For more information, please call 206-296-4600 (voice) or TTY Relay: 711 or toll-free, 800-325-6165. Mailing address: 401 5th Ave., Suite 1300, Seattle, WA 98104 or click here to email us. Because of confidentiality concerns, questions regarding client health issues cannot be responded to by e-mail. Please read the Notice of Privacy Practices. For more information, contact the Public Health Privacy Office at 206-263-8255.