This makes it the leading cause of preventable death in this country. On top of that, smoking and the use of tobacco products, including cigars and smokeless tobacco, cause or worsen numerous diseases and conditions.
Why? There are more than 7,000 chemicals in a single cigarette, including arsenic, lead and tar. The good news is that if you quit, your body will benefit almost immediately.
Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there are several reasons smoking can be associated with a heart attack. Cigarette smoking can do things like:
If smoking does increase plaque buildup in your arteries and cause atherosclerosis it may lead to peripheral arterial disease, which can cause severe pain in your legs and affect your mobility.
Smoking is a major cause of coronary heart disease (also known as coronary artery disease), which can lead to a heart attack.
According to statistics from the American Heart Association, cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States.
Researchers say the heart-healthy benefits of quitting include:
Use this information to your advantage. Concentrating on the benefits of quitting might just be the motivation you need.
If you’re going to quit smoking, it helps to have guidance. These are tips to help get you started down the road to a smoke-free life and keep you there. It should include things like:
The CDC has a lot of information on these recommendations and many others.
According to the American Cancer Society, research shows that using a medication to help you quit smoking can increase your chances of being successful.
There are seven medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that help people quit smoking safely and effectively. Talk to your doctor about which one is best for you.
Over-the-counter medications that can help ease the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:
There are four other medications that are available by prescription:
Talk to your doctor about the most effective way to take these medications. Use them as directed.
Combining counseling with medication makes it even more likely that you will quit smoking and stay away from tobacco for good. Counseling comes in many forms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists “Five Reasons Why Calling a Quitline Can Be The Key To Your Success.”
Going cold turkey means that you stop smoking all at once. Gradually smoking fewer cigarettes each day may make it easier to quit. But keep in mind that only 4 to 7 percent of smokers who try to quit cold turkey are successful in staying smoke-free.
One of the most important things researchers have learned about quitting smoking is that the smoker needs to keep trying. It may take several serious attempts before a smoker can quit forever, so don’t be discouraged by relapse.