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Getting Motivated to Quit Smoking 

calendar thumbtack quit

If you have tried to quit smoking, you know how hard it can be. That's because nicotine is a very addictive drug. Just seconds after you inhale tobacco smoke, nicotine travels to the brain, telling it to release chemicals to make you want to smoke more. Usually people try to quit several times before finally succeeding. The good news is that each time you try, you will be stronger and closer to quitting for good. 

Why You Should Quit Smoking

The reasons to keep trying to quit are stronger than ever. Smoking is responsible for large numbers of deaths from cancer, heart attacks, stroke, and lung disease. Low birth weight, premature delivery, respiratory distress syndrome, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) are linked to smoking during pregnancy. Up to 25 percent of all deaths from home fires are from fires that were started by smoking materials.Lung cancer isn't the only cancer caused by smoking. Others include cancer of the larynx,esophagus, kidneys, pancreas, and stomach. Although many people believe smokeless (chewing) tobacco is less hazardous to your health than cigarettes, it can cause cancer of the mouth.Tobacco of all kinds can cause cancer. The health benefits of quitting are tremendous.After 5 to 15 years of not smoking, ex-smokers' risks of developing heart and lung diseases, cancer, and lung problems drop to the same levels as if they had never smoked. 

 

Prepare Yourself to Quit

Given the overwhelming evidence that smoking is bad for your health, most smokers want to quit. If you are one of the 47 million people in the United States who smoke, the steps listed later in this article may help you quit. Remember: Anyone can quit, regardless of age, health, or lifestyle. If you want to stop smoking, start preparing for it today. Set a quit date and stick to it. If you slip, forgive yourself, and then get right back to quitting. Your success will be greatly influenced by your desire and determination to quit smoking for good.When you decide to quit smoking, remember that you may experience symptoms of withdrawal. For heavy smokers, withdrawal may include headaches, constipation, irritability, nervousness, trouble concentrating, or insomnia. Increased coughing may also occur as the cilia (tiny hairs that sweep away irritants from the air passages) in your lungs become active again.

Identifying Your Triggers

For about a week, smoke as you normally would, doing your usual activities. Be aware of every cigarette. Even if you think you know your triggers already, try writing them down in a journal. The results may surprise you. For every cigarette you have, write down the date, time, place, who you're with, why you smoked, and how you felt. When you have enough information to identify your triggers, you can stop journaling. Be honest. Answers may repeat. Review what you've written to form a plan for avoiding the habitual traps in your life. 

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**Content provided by Corporate Care Student Assistance Program**