Is quitting smoking a goal for you this year? Then way to go!
Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body. It ruins your lungs and makes you more susceptible to heart disease, cancer, and stroke. It ages your face with wrinkles. It makes you feel winded and tired, and unmotivated to exercise–not to mention it stinks.
Smoking causes 440,000 deaths each year in the US, and is considered the leading preventable cause of death here in the US. According to the Center for Disease Control that is more than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, and firearm related incidents combined!
Smoking is also extremely addictive, rivaling the hardest drugs on the market in habit forming qualities.
If you have decided on the bold and courageous step of dumping this toxic habit we commend you.
We also don’t want to sugar coat the challenge that quitting can be, but…
YOU CAN DO THIS!
One of the best ways to get a handle on quitting is to arm yourself with resources. There are internet resources, support groups both online and in person, and even Smoke Free Apps for your phone.
Another resource is your friends, family, and your healthcare provider. Notice this is a theme running throughout this newsletter. Having help from those in your support network ensures a higher success rate. These are the people that can not only hold you accountable, but those who can also be there to listen to you and to be there for you during the times when you are struggling.
As your family provider we want to be part of your support team as well. Talk to us when you come in for your visits about smoking and about the challenges you are having. We can listen, suggest ideas and tips, and even talk with you about medications if that is something you are interested in.
Our providers suggest you take the time to explore these two questions: when do you smoke and why. It is helpful to do some thinking and maybe even some journaling on both of these questions. This can help you to identify patterns in your behavior so that you will know when and where to make changes that can help you kick the habit.
It’s important to know that on average people who attempt to quit smoking do so between 7 and 8 times before they succeed. Make sure you are not too hard on yourself as you learn to be smoke free. Breaking a habit takes work, dedication, and strength, but it is worth it. Quitting means both immediate and long term health benefits. Just remember, YOU ARE WORTH IT.