DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stoppler, MD
Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
According to the American Lung Association, over 45.7 million Americans have already overcome the nicotine habit. Lots of these people have tried quitting several times before finally being able to quit, so would-be nonsmokers who want to stop but haven't been able to stop, should not feel discouraged from trying again to quit smoking . The onset of a new year, or the beginning of any new phase in your life, is a particularly good time to make the healthy choice of a tobacco-free life.
Breaking any habit or making lifestyle changes is always easier if you have support. The American Lung Association is helping people kick the habit with its online smoking cessation program, Freedom From Smoking®. This is a free service that:
- teaches individuals to understand the reasons for their smoking habit,
- improves relaxation and stress management skills,
- presents information on nicotine replacement therapy and the medical and emotional effects of withdrawal, and
- helps individuals develop long-term strategies for smoke-free living.
If you need extra motivation to quit, remember that an estimated one in three smokers will die early as a result of the habit. Heart and vascular disease, stroke, cancers, and emphysema are all conditions that are more common in smokers than in nonsmokers. The habit can also affect the health of your loved ones. Exposure to another person's cigarette smoke increases an adult's risk of cancer and heart problems, and children exposed to tobacco smoke have an elevated risk of breathing disorders.
So if you'd like to quit smoking, try a smoking cessation support program. Don't forget to enlist family and friends in your effort. There's no reason to go it alone when social support can increase your chances of success.