We all know the health risks of smoking, not only for ourselves, but those around us including our families, friends, and pets. But did you know that the benefits of quitting smoking are almost immediate? And the longer-term benefits are even greater. Check out the info below from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/benefits/index.htm:
|Time After Quitting||Benefits|
|Minutes||Heart rate drops|
|24 hours||Nicotine level in the blood drops to zero|
|Several days||Carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to level of someone who does not smoke|
|1 to 12 months||Coughing and shortness of breath decrease|
|1 to 2 years||Risk of heart attack drops sharply|
|3 to 6 years||Added risk of coronary heart disease drops by half|
|5 to 10 years||Added risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box drops by half|
|Risk of stroke decreases|
|10 years||Added risk of lung cancer decreases by half after 10-15 years|
|Risk of cancers of the bladder, esophagus and kidney decreases|
|15 years||Risk of coronary heart disease drops to close to that of someone who does not smoke|
|20 years||Added risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box drops to close to that of someone who does not smoke|
|Risk of pancreatic cancer drops to close to that of someone who does not smoke|
|Added risk of cervical cancer drops by about half|
Not only are there health benefits, but food tastes better, your sense of smell returns, and you save money.
Any type of tobacco use, whether it is cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping, or chew tobacco is unhealthy. Quitting isn’t easy, but help is available. State governments run no cost programs to assist their residents in leading tobacco free lives.
For Massachusetts residents, 1 800 QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) offers help with planning to quit; coaching by phone, text or email; specialized help for those who are under age 18, pregnant, American Indian, use menthol or have experience with substance abuse or mental health issues; and support for those who have quit and need assistance staying tobacco free. The link provides more information about the services available. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-1-800-quit-now#what-does-1-800-quit-now-offer?-
For Maine residents, the Maine Tobacco Hotline (800-207-1230) is open daily, including weekends, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. A 20-minute intake call with a tobacco treatment specialist will provide you with a treatment plan. For more information: https://www.mainehealth.org/services/pulmonology/maine-tobacco-helpline
For New Hampshire residents, QuitNow-NH 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) offers coaching support to quit smoking. You can also fill out an enrollment form online at https://quitnownh.org/category/i-want-to-quit/, as well as get more information on smoking cessation.
Smoking cessation drugs, including FDA approved prescription and over the counter drugs for smoking cessation, are covered by the prescription drug program. These are available at no co-payment for a 180-treatment regimen when prescribed by a health care provider. If you need additional medication and have a prescription from your doctor, you may purchase additional medication using the CVS/Caremark discount, but you will pay the full cost of the prescription.
So you’ve decided on a day to quit! Check out this link from smokefree.gov, with tips for managing your first day and the days after: https://smokefree.gov/quit-smoking/getting-started/steps-to-manage-quit-day
The Monday Campaigns has “Quit & Stay Quit Monday” with resources and tools for quitting smoking and support to stay smoke free. https://www.mondaycampaigns.org/quit-stay-quit