Why should I quit smoking?
How do I begin to quit smoking?
How will I feel when I quit smoking?
Will I gain weight?
How long does nicotine stay in the body?
What smoking cessation tool would work best for me?

Q: Why should I quit smoking?

A: It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve smoked, quitting smoking is going to help you live longer. Non-smokers and former smokers alike enjoy higher quality health in life with reduced rates of pneumonia and bronchitis, fewer illnesses from flu viruses and a better overall health status.

The US Surgeon General has been quoted as saying, “Smoking cessation represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.”

For many years the Surgeon General has advised on the health risks of smoking. The benefits of quitting smoking apply whether you’re in good health or you’re currently suffering from smoking-related diseases. The US Surgeon General reports:

  • Former smokers live longer than continuing smokers.
  • Quitting smoking decreases the risk of lung cancer, other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease.
  • The health benefits of quitting smoking far exceed any risks from the weight gain or any temporary withdrawal symptoms that may accompany quitting.

In addition to the US Surgeon General’s reports, the following statements are also true about quitting smoking:

  • You will look better and have more energy.
  • Tobacco stains will fade from your teeth, nails, and hands.
  • You will have more money in your wallet.
  • You won’t have to find a place to smoke.
  • You won’t have worry about running out of cigarettes.
  • The smell of cigarettes will fade from your clothes, car, and home.

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Q: How do I begin to quit smoking?

A: Some people are able to quit smoking without planning while others need to carefully strategize their plan to quit smoking. The following steps will help you get started on your path to quitting smoking:

  • Decide you want to quit. Don’t focus on how hard it will be to quit, instead visualize yourself smoke-free. Focus on the benefits you’ll enjoy after you’ve quit.
  • Choose your Quit Day! Make sure you mark your quit day on a calendar. Selecting a quit day will let you keep track of when you quit smoking. This will be a day you can celebrate each year going forward.
  • Join a support group. We have an active Community Forum where you can talk to other people who’ve decided to quit smoking as well. People who have a support system whether its via the internet, on the phone, or with a counselor have a greater chance of success.
  • Focus on the reasons you decided to quit smoking. Improved health, family, money, children, etc. Being mindful of the reasons you decided to quit will help keep you going.
  • Tell everyone you live or work with that you plan to stop smoking. Make sure you get the support of people around you. If you live or work with smokers, you should ask them to not smoke around you.
  • Research smoking cessation products. There are many different kinds of smoking cessation products including nicotine gum, nicotine patches, nicotine lozenges, nicotine inhalers and more. These products can help you on your path to quit smoking.
  • Set your expectations. Do your research and learn coping mechanisms to handle any urge you may get while quitting. Understand what your “triggers” to smoke are and think about how you’ll handle these when they occur.

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Q: How will I feel when I quit smoking?

A: Withdrawal symptoms start within the first few ours of quitting, peak at 2-3 days and can last up to 4 weeks. Some of the symptoms you may experience include irritability, anger, frustration, depression, sadness, nausea, tiredness, trouble sleeping, hunger and more.

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Q: Will I gain weight?

A: The average weight gain while quitting smoking is a little less than 10 pounds. It’s important to note that the health effects of carrying an additional 10 pounds pale in comparison to the health effects of continued smoking.

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Q: How long does nicotine stay in the body?

A: Within 3 to 4 days of quitting smoking your body should test nicotine free.

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Q: What smoking cessation tool would work best for me?

A: With a variety of smoking cessation products on the market, you’ll have a few options to choose from. It’s a good idea review all of your options and discuss them with your physician before making a decision.

Some of these options include:

  • nicotine patch
  • nicotine gum
  • nicotine nasal spray
  • nicotine inhaler
  • nicotine lozenge
  • Zyban
  • Chantix

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