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Cigarette smoking and tobacco use result in significantly more deaths each year than illegal drugs and AIDS. Smoking damages nearly every organ in the human body, is linked to at least 15 different cancers, and accounts for some 30% of all cancer deaths. And it costs billions of dollars each year in health-related expenses. Yet one in five Americans still lights up.
In 1982, the United States Surgeon General’s Report stated, “Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer mortality in the United States.” This statement is as true today as it was in 1982. Smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Because cigarette smoking and tobacco use are acquired behaviors, activities that people choose to do, it is the most preventable cause of premature death in our society.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 44.5 million U.S. adults were current smokers in 2006 (the most recent year for which numbers are available). This number represents 20.8% of all adults (23.9% of men and 18.0% of women), or more than 1 out of 5 people.
Below are tips to quit smoking from Everydaychoices.Org, a collaboration between American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association.
Tips to Help You Quit
About 48 million Americans smoke cigarettes, but most smokers are either actively trying to quit or want to quit. Since 1965, more than 40 percent of all adults who have ever smoked have quit. You can be among that group too. Here are some helpful hints to get you started.
* List all the reasons you want to quit smoking (e.g., better health, save money, play with children/grandchildren) and read them several times a day.
* Ask your physician or pharmacist if you are a good candidate for using a nicotine replacement (e.g., patch, gum, lozenge) or other medication to help you quit. Consider smoking cessation counseling or support groups.
* Choose a quit date – it could be a significant date (e.g., a birthday or anniversary) or just a date about two to three weeks away. Before your quit date, get rid of all smoking-related materials in your home and work area (e.g., ashtrays, matches, cigarette packages).
* Stay busy! Go to the movies, exercise, take long walks, go bike riding.
* Find healthy substitutes for smoking. Carry sugarless gum or artificially sweetened mints. Munch carrots or celery sticks. Try doing crafts or other things with your hands.
* Let your friends, family, and co-workers know that you plan to quit – and ask for their help and support. And if your spouse or partner smokes, ask them to help you out by not smoking around you for the first couple of months after you quit.
If you slip up, don’t punish or blame yourself – simply try again and ask for help.