Make Good on
Your Resolution To Quit Smoking
By Carolyn M.
January 8, 2013
For people who
smoke cigarettes, the New Year is a popular time
to try to quit.
And it’s no
Tobacco use kills
about 443,000 people in the United States each
year or about 1 in 5 deaths annually. It is the
Number One cause of preventable deaths,
according to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
is one of the best things you can do for your
health and for the health of your loved ones.
Within just 12 hours of your last cigarette, the
carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to
normal. Within 1 year of quitting, the excess
risk of heart disease is half that of a person
who continues to smoke, according to the
U.S. Surgeon General.
helps protect the health of people around you,
especially babies and children. Secondhand smoke
has more than 50 chemicals that are known to
cause cancer in adults. It can also cause lung
disease and heart disease in people who have
never smoked. Parents who quit smoking provide a
great role model to their children and teens.
And contrary to
what some people say,
smokeless tobacco isn’t a safe option. It
includes chewing tobacco, dip, and snuff. It
causes cancer of the esophagus, mouth, and
Like many New
Year’s resolutions, deciding to change a
behavior isn’t as easy as actually doing it. In
fact, many smokers or tobacco users try to quit
several times before they succeed.
How can you
follow through on your plan to stop smoking for
good in 2013?
A great place to
BeTobaccoFree.gov. The new, comprehensive
Web site gives one-stop access to the latest
information from the Federal government on
tobacco-related information, including
evidence-based methods on how to quit.
The Web site
includes interactive features, mobile apps, and
tools and resources designed specifically for
parents, educators, and teens.
people who are getting ready to
quit smoking now will find resources and
tools to help them.
You can START the
process by --
- S =
Setting a quit date. Pick a date
within the next 2 weeks. That gives you
enough time to get ready, but not so much
time that you lose your determination.
- T =
Telling others about your plan to quit.
Quitting is easier to do with support from
others. Tell family, friends, and co-workers
how they can help you.
- A =
Anticipating the challenges you will face.
Most people who return to smoking do it
within the first 3 months. Be prepared for
situations when you will be tempted to smoke
and plan for how you will deal with them.
- R =
Removing cigarettes from your home, car, and
work. Getting rid of things that
remind you of smoking will help you get
ready to quit. Clean your car, get rid of
lighters and ashtrays, and have your teeth
cleaned to get rid of smoking stains.
- T =
Talking to your doctor about getting help to
quit. Some people need help to
manage the withdrawal from nicotine. Ask
your health care provider if a medicine
might help you. You can buy some of these
medicines on your own, like the nicotine
patch or nicotine gum. Others require a
of the Web site called
SmokefreeTeen helps teenagers recognize the
pressures they face and how they typically
handle them, including whether to start or stop
smoking. Using interactive quizzes,
SmokefreeTeen looks at important topics such as
depression, stress, and relationships. Answers
can help teens understand their behavior style
and the role that smoking, or trying to quit,
may plan in it. Another feature for teens is a
mobile service called
SmokefreeTXT. The service sends text
messages with advice and tips on how to stop
smoking for good.
is one of the best New Year’s resolutions you
can make to protect your health. The
BeTobaccoFree Web site can help you turn your
wish into reality.
I’m Dr. Carolyn
Clancy, and that’s my advice on how to navigate
the health care system.
for Disease Control and Prevention
Fact Sheet: Fast Fact -- Smoking and Tobacco
Surgeon General’s Report -- Smoking and Tobacco Use
Tobacco and Your Health
Current as of January 2013
Make Good on Your Resolution To Quit Smoking.
Navigating the Health Care System: Advice
Columns from Dr. Carolyn Clancy, January 8,
2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/cc/cc010813.htm