|Image Courtesy: U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Brittany Perry|
According to the Healthy People 2020 report, "Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States." When it comes to cigarette smoking here in our community, our Community Health Needs Assessment shows that 15% of Cass County residents smoke cigarettes on a regular basis (some days or every day). If you are among that number, it’s time to take steps to better health.
Benefits of not smoking
Quitting tobacco at any age is beneficial. You’ll notice benefits such as better breathing and less coughing within weeks of quitting. Healthy People 2020 reportQuitting smoking improves your health and the quality of your life as well as those around you. And there’s no age where it’s “too late.” When you stop smoking you:
- Lower your risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer
- Reduce your risk for coronary heart disease, stroke and vascular disease
- Reduce your heart disease risk within 1-2 years of quitting
- Reduce respiratory problems such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
- Reduce your risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)- one of the leading causes of death in the United States
Steps to a smoke-free lifeAccording to the CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention), nearly 70% of adult cigarette smokers reported wanting to quit smoking. But we all know that it’s not quite that easy. Here are three steps you can take to successfully start a smoke-free life:
- Talk to your doctor about the best options for you. Quitting cold-turkey is rarely successful. Nicotine replacement products or prescription pills might be an option that’s right for you.
- Involve your family and friends. Don’t try to quit alone. Tell the people who care about you and ask them to help support your efforts. They can help you avoid situations or other triggers that make you want to smoke. They can also be a support system when you’re struggling.
- Improve your lifestyle. Don’t try to diet at the same time as quitting but do look for opportunities to eat more fruit and vegetables (some studies suggest these foods make cigarettes taste worse). Be more active – take a walk when you feel like reaching for a cigarette for example. Physical activity can help reduce nicotine symptoms and ease your withdrawal.
You don’t have to do this alone
Find a doctor that can assess your health and help you quit smoking
Get free help from the Indiana Tobacco Quitline – a free, phone-based counseling service that helps Indiana tobacco users quit. 1-800-QUIT-NOW
visiting our website.