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Improve Your Health – Quit Smoking

Extracted from the article “Health Dept Airs New Anti-Tobacco Ad Campaign” published in medical news today on the 27th of November 2007:

Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health

There are many health benefits to quitting, and they begin just 24 hours after you stop.

In 24 hours
– Your chance of heart attack drops.

In 2 days
– Your ability to smell and taste improves.

In 2 to 3 weeks
– Your circulation gets better.
– You can walk more easily.
– Your lung function improves.

In 1 month
– Your cough, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath decrease.
– Your lungs start to repair themselves, reducing the chance of infection.

In 1 year
– Your risk of heart disease is cut in half.

In 5 years
– Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, and esophagus drops by about half.
– Your risk of stroke and heart disease begins to decrease

In 10 years
– Your risk of lung cancer is about half that of continuing smokers.

In 15 years
– Your risk of heart disease returns to the level of people who have never smoked.

Ten ways to make quitting easier

1. Prepare yourself.
Make a list of your reasons for quitting and read it often.

2. Pick a quit date.
Get rid of ashtrays and lighters, and throw out all cigarettes.

3. Have a smoke-free car and home.
It is healthier for others and will help you not smoke.

4. Get support and encouragement.
Tell you family, friends, and coworkers that you are quitting and ask for their support.

5. Get a quit buddy.
Ask a smoker to quit with you, or find someone who has already quit who you can talk to for support.

6. Notice what makes you want to smoke.
Alcohol, coffee, and stress can make you feel like smoking. So can seeing others smoke; ask smokers you know not to light up in front of you.

7. Think about using medications.
The nicotine patch or gum, and medications such as Zyban (bupropion) and Chantix (varenicline) greatly reduce your cravings and double your chance of success. Talk to your doctor.

8. Help yourself cope.
Drink a lot of water to help with cravings. Exercise to get rid of stress and improve your mood and health; a fast walk often does the trick.

9. Get your mind off smoking.
Talk to a friend when you feel like smoking. Get busy with a simple task, eat a healthy snack, take a walk, or chew gum. Stay away from places and situations you associate with smoking.

10. Stay away from that first cigarette.
Having even one can make you start up again. Cravings will decrease the longer you don’t smoke. If you can quit for 3 months, you’ll likely quit for good.

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