Smoking and How to Quit Smoking

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

View How Smoking Affects Your Looks and Life Slideshow Pictures

Quick GuideHow to Quit Smoking: 13 Tips to End Addiction

How to Quit Smoking: 13 Tips to End Addiction

What are the symptoms and signs of cigarette addiction?

The signs of addiction to cigarettes include:

  • Smoking more than seven cigarettes per day
  • Inhaling deeply and frequently
  • Smoking cigarettes containing nicotine levels more than 0.9mg
  • Smoking within 30 minutes of awakening in the morning
  • Finding it difficult to eliminate the first cigarette in the morning
  • Smoking frequently during the morning
  • Finding it difficult to avoid smoking in smoking-restricted areas
  • Needing to smoke even if sick and in bed

Why should someone quit smoking?

Quitting smoking makes a difference right away in the way you feel. You can taste and smell food better. Your breath smells better. Your cough goes away. These benefits happen for men and women of all ages, even those who are older. They happen for healthy people as well as those who already have a disease or condition caused by smoking.

Even more importantly, in the long run, quitting smoking cuts the risk of lung cancer, many other cancers (including laryngeal, oral cavity, stomach, esophageal, cervical, kidney, bladder, and colon cancers), heart disease, stroke, and other lung or breathing (respiratory) diseases (for example, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and emphysema). Smoking also increases the risk of peripheral vascular disease and abdominal aortic aneurysms. Moreover, ex-smokers have better health than current smokers. For example, ex-smokers have fewer days of illness, fewer health complaints, and less frequent bouts with chronic bronchitis and pneumonia than current smokers. People who quit smoking can actually reduce their risk of developing lung cancer or other smoking-related diseases.

Finally, quitting smoking saves money. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is approximately $6.28 a pack (depending on where you live). A smoker with a pack a day habit spends approximately $44.00 per week ($2,288 per year).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/30/2015

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