Smoking cigarettes tops the list of major risk factors of heart and blood
vessel disease. In fact, according to the American Heart Association,
almost one-fifth of deaths from heart disease are caused by smoking. More
than 430,000 deaths every year are caused by smoking.
Smoking also harms thousands of nonsmokers who are exposed to cigarette
smoke. When you quit, you reduce not only the risk to your health, but
the risk to those you love as well. No matter how long you’ve smoked,
when you quit, your risk of heart disease and stroke begins to drop. Over
time, your risk will be about the same as if you’d never smoked.
The American Heart Association offers these tips to help smokers quit:
- List the reasons to quit and read them several times a day.
- Wrap cigarette packs with paper and rubber bands. Each time you smoke,
write down the time of day, how you feel and how important that cigarette
is to you on a scale of one to five.
- Don’t carry matches or lighters and keep cigarettes out of easy reach.
- Each day, try to smoke fewer cigarettes and skip the ones that aren’t
the most important.
- Set a target date to quit
- Done buy a new pack until the old pack is finished.
- Change brands twice a week, each time looking for one lower in tar and nicotine.
- Stop for 48 hours at one time.
After the 48 hour trial, quit completely. Throw out all cigarettes, lighters
and matches. It can help to stay busy and get active, and avoid the things
that you relate to smoking.
- The sense of smell and taste come back
- Smoker’s cough goes away
- Digestion improves
- Energy level improves
- Breathing improves
- Exercise becomes easier
- Your clothes don’t smell of cigarettes
- You’ll reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, long disease and cancer.