Tips to Stop Smoking | UnityPoint Health - Sioux City, Iowa

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Tips to Stop Smoking

Want to Quit Smoking?

Cigarettes can contain up to 4000 chemical compounds and at least 400 toxic substances. Chemicals such as tar (a carcinogen) that causes cancer, nicotine which increases cholesterol levels in your body, carbon monoxide which reduces oxygen in your body are products that are most damaging to your body.

By quitting you will lower your risk of cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke), COPD, and cancer. You will have more energy and breathe easier. You will also increase your chance of living longer and having a healthier life. 

Why is it difficult to quit smoking?

Nicotine is a natural drug found in tobacco. Nicotine is known to be just as addictive as cocaine or heroin. Nicotine affects many parts of the body, including your heart, blood vessels, hormones, metabolism, and your brain. Use overtime not only creates a physical addiction, but an emotional dependence. Studies show you must address both the physical addiction as well as the psychological addiction to quit and stay quit.

Ways to quit smoking:

Quitting is not easy, but you can do it. Studies show most former smokers make several attempts to quit before they are successful.
Make a firm decision to quit smoking and be willing to set a quit date.
Tell your family and friends you quit smoking and get support from family, friends, co-workers. Consult with your family physician about nicotine patches and or nicotine medication.

Develop new behaviors and skills:

  • Throw cigarettes away
  • Change your routine
  • Surround self with non-smokers
  • Increase your physical activity
  • Distract self from urges by planning something enjoyable to do daily
  • Take deep breathes to relax
  • Praise self when you outsmart your urge
  • Keep busy by taking up a new hobby
  • Keep mouth and hands busy by chewing sugarless gum or mints
  • Eat low calorie foods, drink lots of water and non-alcohol beverages
  • Talk about your frustrations
  • Focus on positive changes
  • Join a quit smoke program 

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