According to the AHA, stopping
smoking reduces the risk for heart disease by half. It also lowers the risk for repeat
heart attacks and death by heart disease by half. Research also shows that quitting
smoking helps lower the risk for things that can cause a heart attack. These include
atherosclerosis, blood clots, and heart rhythm problems.
To quit, you need to be mentally
ready and relatively stress-free. Physically, you need to commit to exercising every
and getting plenty of sleep. You must overcome 2 obstacles. One is the physical
addiction to nicotine. The other is the habit of smoking. The National
Cancer Institute offers these tips to help you quit using tobacco:
Think about why you want to quit.
Pick a stress-free time to quit.
Ask for support and encouragement from family, friends, and co-workers.
Start doing some exercise or
activity each day to ease stress and improve your health.
Get plenty of rest.
Eat a balanced diet.
Join a quit-smoking program,
or other support group.
Disconnect your activities of smoking and replace them with newer healthier activities.
In some cases, nicotine replacement
products can help break a smoking habit. Nicotine replacement products continue to
you nicotine to meet your nicotine craving. But these products don't contain the tars
and toxic gases that cigarettes have. Talk with your healthcare provider before you
using these products if you are pregnant or nursing, or have a health condition. Some
examples of nicotine replacement products are:
Nicotine chewing gum. An
over-the-counter chewing gum that releases small amounts of nicotine to help ease
nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Nicotine patch. An
over-the-counter patch put on the upper body once a day that releases a steady
dose of nicotine to help reduce the urge to smoke.
Nicotine inhaler or nose
A prescription product that releases nicotine to help reduce
withdrawal symptoms. This needs a doctor's approval before use.