Why Quit Smoking?
You know you should quit smoking. But you just haven't gotten around to it yet. Here are some reasons to help you commit to quitting:
- You will have a better chance of living a longer, healthier life. As soon as you stop smoking, your body starts to recover. Within 10 years, your risk of lung cancer will be almost the same as if you had never smoked.
- Your cholesterol levels will improve, significantly lowering your risk for heart disease. Smoking reduces HDL ("good") cholesterol and may alter LDL ("bad") cholesterol so that it leads to a buildup of plaque in your arteries.
- Your smile will be brighter. With every puff, nicotine and tar coat and stain your teeth. After you quit, make an appointment with your dentist to have the yellow stains cleaned. Your whiter smile can remind you of your accomplishment.
- You will develop fewer wrinkles. Nicotine can block the blood supply to your skin, which can cause wrinkles. Tobacco smoke can dry your skin and make it more prone to wrinkles.
- Food will taste better. Smoking takes a lot of the pleasure from eating by interfering with your senses of taste and smell.
- You may not get sick as often. Smoking damages your airways and makes you more prone to coughs, colds and infections.
- You will have more money in your pocket every day. The cost of cigarettes continues to rise. If you smoked a pack a day for a year, you'd spend a few thousand dollars. Think of what else you could do with that money! You could have fun and help save your life at the same time.
You've done your homework, made your plan, tossed out all your cigarettes and now the big day is here: Day One of your plan to quit smoking. You've probably heard that nicotine withdrawal is unpleasant and that most people need to quit several times before they reach their goal. But the good news is that, if you can make it through this first day and this first week, when nicotine withdrawal symptoms are at their worst, you will be on your way to success.
Planning Your Quit Strategy
As you probably already know, quitting smoking isn't easy. But, millions of other people have done it, and you can, too. Here are some strategies to help you quit.
Quit-smoking aids can help you have a smoke-free future. But, it's also smart to develop a plan to change your personal habits and set up a network of emotional support. Turn to family and friends— and your doctor. He or she can give you valuable information on quitting.