If you smoke, quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to protect your lungs. It is NEVER too late to quit. Your doctor can help you decide which smoking cessation method will work best for you.



The effects of tobacco include:

  • Constriction of blood vessels (as blood vessels become smaller, the blood pressure is raised)

  • Increased carbon monoxide levels in the bloodstream, which impairs oxygen transport

  • Formation of blood clots

  • Acceleration of the process of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

  • Increased risk of blockage in leg arteries (there is a 30 percent to 50 percent increase with smoking one-half pack per day)

  • Increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and/or death

  • Decreased chance of successful surgical outcome

  • Greater risk for amputation


Ask your healthcare provider about smoking cessation programs in your community.

Before you quit all at once ("cold turkey"), setting a plan will help:

  • Pick a date to stop smoking and then get ready for it.

  • Record when and why you smoke.  You will come to know what triggers your urges to smoke.

  • Record what you do when you smoke.  As you plan to stop, try smoking at different times and different places to break the connections between smoking and certain activities.

  • List your reasons for quitting.  Read over the list before and after you quit.

  • Find activities to replace smoking.  Be ready to do something else when you want to smoke.

  • Ask your healthcare provider about using nicotine gum and patches.  Some people find these aids are very helpful.

  • Ask your doctor about a nicotine-free prescription medication (for example, Chantix® or Zyban®) that can help you quit smoking.


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