My mom smoked for 25 years and decided to quit smoking with the birth of her first grandchild. She also hoped that if she stopped smoking, it would support and encourage my dad to quit smoking. Sadly, he died of lung cancer due to his three pack-a-day habit at the age of 66. My father-in-law died of COPD related symptoms 10 years later, both of their lives cut short due to cigarette smoking. “Quit smoking today for your life!”
What’s Your Reason to Quit?
Everyone has their own reasons for quitting smoking. Maybe they want to be healthier, save some money, or keep their family safe. As you prepare to quit, think about your own reasons for quitting. Remind yourself of them every day. They can inspire you to stop smoking for good. Whatever your reasons, you will be amazed at all the ways your life will improve when you become smokefree.
Here are a few reasons to quit you may want to consider:
Your Health and Appearance:
- My chances of having cancer, heart attacks, heart disease, stroke, cataracts, and other diseases will go down
- I will be less likely to get sick
- I will breathe easier and cough less
- My blood pressure will go down
- My skin will look healthier, and I will look more youthful
- My teeth and fingernails will not be stained
Although quitting will make you feel better and improve your health, there are other reasons to quit that you may not have considered:
- I will have more money to spend
- I can spend more time with family, catch up on work, or dive into my favorite hobby
- I won’t have to worry about when I can smoke next or where I can or can’t smoke
- My food will taste better
- My clothes will smell better
- My car‚ home‚ and kids won’t smell like smoke
- I will be able to smell food, flowers, and other things better
Your Loved Ones:
- I will set a great example for my kids; it takes a lot of strength to quit
- My friends, family, co-workers, and other loved ones will be proud of me
- I will protect my friends and family from the dangers of secondhand smoke
- My children will be healthier
- I will have more energy to do the things I love with friends and family
- I will get healthy to make sure I am around to share in my family’s special moments
Make a list of all of the reasons you want to become Smokefree and keep it in a place where you will see it often, like your car or where you kept your cigarettes. When you feel the need to smoke, take a look at the list to remind yourself why you want to quit.
QUITTING IS HARD!!!
Many ex–smokers say quitting was the hardest thing they ever did. However, millions of people have been able to do it and you can too. An important first step of the quit process is learning why you feel like you need to smoke. When you understand why you smoke, you can prepare yourself to find the best ways to quit.
One of the main reasons smokers keep smoking is nicotine. Nicotine is a chemical in cigarettes that makes you addicted to smoking. Over time your body gets used to having nicotine. However, the more you smoke‚ the more nicotine you need to feel normal. When your body doesn’t get nicotine, you may feel uncomfortable and crave cigarettes. This is called withdrawal.
It takes time to get over withdrawal. Most physical symptoms go away after a few days to a week, but cigarette cravings may stick around longer. So don’t give up. You can do this. Visit our withdrawal page to get tips on handling symptoms of withdrawal.
When you smoke, it becomes an important part of your life. Certain activities, feelings, and people are linked to your smoking. When you come across these things, they may “trigger” or turn on your urge to smoke. Try to anticipate these smoking triggers and develop ways to deal with them. Here are a few tips:
- Go to places that don’t allow smoking. Shops, movie theatres, and many restaurants are now smokefree.
- Spend more time with non-smokers. You won’t want to smoke as badly if you are around people who don’t smoke.
- Keep your hands busy. Play a game on your phone, eat a healthy snack, or squeeze a stress ball.
- Take a deep breath. Remind yourself of the reasons why you want to stop smoking. Think of people in your life who will be happier and healthier because you decided to quit.
For a more detailed description of triggers and tips on handling them, visit our cravings page.
Consider Using a Quit Smoking Program
Quit smoking programs help smokers spot and cope with problems they have when trying to quit. The programs teach problem-solving and other coping skills. A quit smoking program can help you quit for good by:
- Helping you understand why you smoke
- Teaching you how to handle withdrawal and stress
- Teaching you tips to help resist the urge to smoke
Visit your county or state government’s website to see if they offer quit smoking programs in your area. If you want to talk to a quit smoking counselor right away, call 1–800–QUIT–NOW. You can also get on the go quit support through your mobile phone with the SmokefreeTXT text messaging program.
Are you one of the more than 70% of smokers who want to quit?
Then try following this advice.
- Don’t smoke any cigarettes. Each cigarette you smoke damages your lungs, your blood vessels, and cells throughout your body. Even occasional smoking is harmful.
- Write down why you want to quit. Do you want to—
- Be around for your loved ones?
- Have better health?
- Set a good example for your children?
- Protect your family from breathing other people’s smoke?
Really wanting to quit smoking is very important to how much success you will have in quitting.
- Know that it will take commitment and effort to quit smoking. Nearly all smokers have some feelings of nicotine withdrawal when they try to quit. Nicotine is addictive.a Knowing this will help you deal with withdrawal symptoms that can occur, such as bad moods and really wanting to smoke.
There are many ways smokers quit, including using nicotine replacement products (gum and patches) or FDA-approved, non-nicotine cessation medications. Some people do not experience any withdrawal symptoms. For most people, symptoms only last a few days to a couple of weeks.a Take quitting one day at a time, even one minute at a time—whatever you need to succeed.
- Get help if you want it. Smokers can receive free resources and assistance to help them quit by calling the 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline (1-800-784-8669) or by visiting CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers. Your health care providers are also a good source for help and support.
Concerned about weight gain? It’s a common concern, but not everyone gains weight when they stop smoking.b Learn ways to help you control your weight as you quit smoking.
- Remember this good news! More than half of all adult smokers have quit, and you can, too.c Millions of people have learned to face life without a cigarette. Quitting smoking is the single most important step you can take to protect your health and the health of your family.
- Tobacco use can lead to tobacco/nicotine dependence and serious health problems. Quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of developing smoking-related diseases.
- Tobacco/nicotine dependence is a condition that often requires repeated treatments, but there are helpful treatments and resources for quitting.
- Smokers can and do quit smoking. In fact, today there are more former smokers than current smokers.
Smokers today have a greater risk of developing lung cancer than did smokers in 1964. Quitting is a journey-start now!