Smoking, vaping, and smokeless tobacco cause harm by raising blood pressure and increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. Chewing tobacco increases your risk of cancer of the face and throat. Smoking not only raises the risk of cancer, but more often, causes emphysema. This crippling lung disease can cause constant shortness of breath and a need to use oxygen. Stopping smoking can make the difference between playing with your grandchildren outside and sitting by with your oxygen tank watching them.
You may already know your nicotine habit is dangerous, but perhaps you feel helpless or don’t know where to start.
How to start:
- Create a “quit plan” and set a date to stop or slowly cut down on your use. Tell others about your plan to help you stick to it.
- Avoid places and situations that you know will tempt you to use nicotine.
- Expect physical withdrawal symptoms, like anxiety, insomnia, and irritability. These cravings are worst in the first few days and decrease over two to four weeks.
- Expect to emotionally “miss” nicotine long after the physical symptoms of withdrawal have worn off.
- Don’t be discouraged when you fail. Try again and again and again until you succeed. The more times you attempt to quit, the more likely you will be successful.
- Your doctor may be able to help. Some don’t need prescription medications to quit, but they have made the difference for many.
- The resources below have proven helpful for others like you. If you do nothing else today, give the Quitline a call or joinorg.
Resources to help you quit:
- Call the Quitline at 1-800-784-8669 (English) or 1-855-335-3569 (Español).
- “BecomeAnEX” (org) is a free digital community that helps its members quit. They offer an active social community, text or email messaging support, expert guidance, interactive quitting tools, and nicotine replacement therapy. Sticking to the BecomeAnEX quit plan may significantly increase your chance of quitting!
- Smokefree.gov is an additional resource if you prefer getting help online.