According to the American Lung Association, smoking kills over 480,000 people every year. Few people would disagree that smoking is hazardous to their health, yet millions continue to take part in this unhealthy habit. The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a decline in U.S. adult smokers, but an estimated 34 million still smoke cigarettes. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.1 billion adults worldwide smoke cigarettes. The tobacco epidemic is so pervasive that the WHO supports World No Tobacco Day, held annually on May 31. In honor of World No Tobacco Day this year, take some time to learn about the benefits of smoking cessation and how you or a loved one can get started on the journey of quitting smoking.
Smoking can cause immediate bodily damage and result in long-term health problems. More than 16 million Americans are living with a smoking-related disease like cancer, heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. With all the health risks associated with smoking, it’s important to extinguish your smoking habit for good. Here are some suggestions to get you started on your journey to being smoke-free:
- Think about when and why you smoke—keep track of when you light up and how you’re feeling. Identifying your triggers can help you prepare to quit.
- Think of the many benefits of quitting, like extending your lifespan, saving more money, and feeling healthier overall, to stay motivated.
- Plan ahead for cigarette cravings to stay on track. Some common strategies for managing cravings include chewing gum, eating a healthy snack or taking a walk when you feel the urge to smoke.
- Be sure to share your plans with your loved ones so that they can help support you and hold you accountable.
It’s never too late to start your smoking cessation journey. Talk to your doctor today to create a cessation strategy that’s right for you.
Photo by Sajjad Zabihi on Unsplash