Reasons to Quit
A Few Good Reasons to Quit Tobacco
- More than eight out of 10 Clark County residents do not smoke.
- Quitting smoking reduces your risk of premature death by 50 percent within 5 years. (After 15 years the risk is the same as if you had never smoked.)
- One out of two smokers will die from smoking related diseases.
- The average smoker spends over $2,000 every year on cigarettes.
Why Breaking the "Habit" is Hard
Trying to quit smoking is difficult for three reasons:
- Physical dependency on nicotine
- Psychological dependency
Develop a Plan
It is important to identify and write down your smoking triggers and the strategies you will use to cope with them before you actually quit.
Triggers may include:
- Drinking alcohol or coffee
- The "after dinner" cigarette
- Talking on the phone
- Study-breaks or socializing with other smokers
- Negative or positive emotions
- Waiting or boredom
Tips to Manage Your Triggers
- Avoid the situation: drink a soda instead of coffee, only go to non-smoking public places, run errands during breaks, leave the room when others are smoking.
- Change your smoking routine: buy a brand you don't like, put rubber bands around your pack to make you think about what you are doing.
- Substitute for the cigarette: keep something in your free hand, chew gum or hard candy, take a walk, call a friend.
The Best Way to Quit - Get Help!
The most effective and long term approach to break nicotine dependence is to get professional help in creating your individual strategy to quit smoking. Visit the Cessation Resources page to learn where to quit smoking, whether you prefer getting support from others in a group setting or calling from the privacy of your own home. Whatever your preference, there’s a resource for you.
Within 20 Minutes of Quitting
Within 20 minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your body begins repairing itself. The healing process continues for years:
- 20 minutes after quitting, your blood pressure drops and the temperature of your hands and feet return to normal;
- 8 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal;
- 24 hours after quitting, your chance of a heart attack decreases;
- 2 to 3 months after quitting, your circulation improves and your lung function increases up to 30 percent;
- 1 to 9 months after quitting, your coughing and shortness of breath decrease;
- 1 year after quitting, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker’s;
- 5 years after quitting, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s;
- 10 years after quitting, your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s. Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases; and
- 15 years after quitting, your risk of heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s (American Cancer Society, 2014).