The official blog of the Lung Institute.
You Can Quit Smoking! The hardest part of quitting is finding the motivation to take the first step. There’s always a reason to put it off, and there’s one universal truth about quitting that applies to each and every one of us: No one is ever prepared to quit smoking.
Even if we admit to hating the habit, to having wanted to quit for years or decades, or that we’ve dreamt of living nicotine-free forever, the desire to quit is not the same as feeling ready to quit. The excuses not to quit come so easily.
- I’ll quit next week, when the stress of ________ has passed.
- I don’t want to waste this last pack of smokes. I’ll just use them up. Yeah, I’ll celebrate quitting by finishing these last few cigarettes!
- What, quit before (insert major fun event here)? No way–I’ll be miserable at the whatever if I’m in the middle of nicotine withdrawal.
- Yada, yada, yada. (Insert your own fourth reason here.)
But seriously–don’t beat yourself up. We all do it, but it’s not weakness.
And in the case of addiction, we need to admit that getting help is a good idea. Now, let’s compare the reasons not to quit with the reasons for quitting.
Reasons to quit
In case there is still a need to remind someone why quitting is a good idea, and in case there is one smoker out there who can’t think of a single reason to quit, here are four:
You’re not Ironman, and you’re not Wonder Woman. Your health is something that can be destroyed by a vice you may love. The American Lung Association has a Q&A page sums it up pretty well in a paragraph. Here it is:
Q: What are the health benefits of quitting smoking?
A: Soon after you quit smoking, you will notice you have more energy and less stress. Your smoker’s cough will go away, although for some it may take weeks as your lungs clean themselves by bringing up mucus. Your eyes and throat won’t be irritated, and your senses of taste and smell will improve. Your risk of heart attack and stroke drop quickly. Over time, you’ll have fewer colds and respiratory infections, and your body will repair some of the damage caused by smoking. In the long run, you reduce your risk of lung cancer as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. You will also have fewer wrinkles, whiter teeth and will no longer smell like tobacco. You’ll even save money – lots of it!
Your Loved Ones’ Health
One of the biggest health hazards associated with smoking is secondhand smoke. There is no amount of secondhand smoke that’s safe. Secondhand smoke causes coronary heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. Secondhand smoke can cause severe asthma attacks in children, as well as respiratory infections, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome.
The average pack of cigarettes in the U.S. costs over six dollars. Do you smoke? How much are you spending per month? And don’t think that’s all you’re spending. According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco-related health care and productivity loss costs in the U.S. amount to about $290,000,000,000 per year. That’s a lot of zeros, my friend.
Think of what you could spend your smoking budget on instead of chemical-laced tobacco products. Think of what our nation could do with another $290 billion bucks.
Where can a smoker light up in public these days? (Hint: nowhere) Excusing oneself from a social gathering to stand in the rain and smoke can be a pain. It can be inconvenient as well as socially awkward.
You Can Quit Smoking. Here’s How.
Quitting smoking is the single most important thing smokers can do to improve the quality of their lives, not to mention the length. Quitting is tough, but no one has to do it alone. Here are a few of the many options to help people quit:
- The Lung Institute offers a free, online Smoking Cessation Guide, a good place to start building motivation to begin the daily road to living tobacco-free. Inside, you also can find contact information to help you connect with the in-person human help that helps smokers quit. Remember, you can quit smoking, and we’re here to help.
- Freedom From Smoking
For adult smokers, the American Lung Association offers the Freedom From Smoking® program which teaches skills and techniques proven to help smokers quit. Freedom From Smoking® is available as a group clinic, an online program or as a book. The ALA also has cessation counselors available on their Lung HelpLine.
- Quitter’s Circle
With a strong online community of “Quitters” and mobile app, Quitter’s Circle can be an effective smoking cessation alternative. Developed in collaboration between the American Lung Association and Pfizer, Quitter’s Circle helps users personalize a quit plan and access healthcare provider resources for quitting.
About the Lung Institute
The Lung Institute is a leading medical provider of regenerative cellular therapy for lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease in the United States. Founded in 2013 in Tampa, Fla., the Lung Institute has treated over 2,500 patients and operates clinics in Tampa, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Pittsburgh, PA and Dallas, TX. You can do it; you can quit smoking. For more information, contact us or call (800) 729-3065.