How to Combat a Smoking Addiction

Of the 40 million adults who identified as cigarette smokers in 2014, nearly seven in 10 said they want to stop—and for good reason.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. Nine out of ten lung cancer deaths are due to smoking. Smoking also contributes to 80 percent of deaths resulting from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Additionally, it increases the risk of:

  • Coronary heart disease by two to four times
  • Stroke by two to four times
  • Developing lung cancer by more than 25 times

Many smokers are successfully giving up the habit. In fact, the number of former smokers has outnumbered current smokers since 2002. With the right options and patient resources, Portland smokers can kick their habit for good. The key is to devise a personalized quitting plan to support you through the process. Such a plan might include:

Setting a quit date.

Give yourself a deadline that can help you stay motivated. Choose a date within the next couple of weeks—that gives you some time to prepare without losing too much steam.

Telling friends and family.

Enlisting the support of friends, family, and co-workers can make the difference between successfully quitting and relapse. It helps to have a quit buddy who can weather the tough times with you.

Anticipating challenges.

If they catch you unprepared, nicotine withdrawal and cigarette cravings can derail your quitting plan. Consider how you’ll meet these challenges and arm yourself with the tools you’ll need.

Eliminating cigarettes from your life.

Get rid of everything you associate with smoking, including lighters, ashtrays, and matches. Clean everything in your life that smells like smoke, including clothes, curtains, carpets, and furniture.

Seeking help from your doctor.

A doctor can provide helpful patient resources Portland smokers can use to quit. From prescribing medications for withdrawal symptoms to dispensing advice on how to quit, your doctor can be a valuable resource.

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but it can be done. A personalized quitting plan can help you stay on track, resist cravings, and kick the habit once and for all.


Photo by joka2000 via CC License

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